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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Jan. 15, 2020): Cyclops Mox

AEW Dynamite (Jan. 15, 2020) emanated from Watsco Center in Miami, Florida for a Bash at the Beach celebration. It featured a frantic four-way tag team matchup to earn a title shot, semifinals of a make-shift singles #1 contender tournament, the Dark Order revealing their evil schemes, and Cody Rhodes accepting MJF’s stipulations.

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

Let’s start with a surprise announcement that the singles matches of Jon Moxley versus Sammy Guevara and PAC versus Darby Allin were to act as a mini tournament to determine Chris Jericho’s championship challenger at the Revolution PPV on February 29. The winners will wrestle next week to earn the title shot.

Jon Moxley defeated Sammy Guevara

Sammy Guevara used his speed and craftiness, while Moxley used his power and grit. Sammy actually made me believe he had a chance to win when he executed a Spanish Fly and a huge knee off a reverse fireman’s carry.

Moxley kicked out. The finish was creative. Sammy leaped for a moonsault. Moxley backed away slightly and caught him for rear naked choke to win.

Things got crazy after the match. Lights out, lights on. The entire Inner Circle unit beat the snot out of Moxley. Since Moxley has no friends, nobody came to his aid. As a nod to Hager’s last MMA fight, he hit a running knee to Moxley’s balls. Chris Jericho then took a spike from his jacket and jammed it into Moxley’s eye.

Backstage, Jericho and pals cut a silly promo with eye and see puns to mock Moxley’s new injury.

That portion of the show sure escalated quickly. Sammy looked strong in defeat. Moxley looked stronger in victory. Jericho looked the strongest with numbers on his side and a spike in his hand. I like that AEW isn’t afraid to go wild. In the short history of Dynamite, we’ve seen a Paradigm Shift though a glass table, Cody Rhodes punching through a glass door, and now a spike to Moxley’s ocular organ. Keep the ferocity coming.

PAC defeated Darby Allin

Darby Allin cares not for his own body. He threw himself around on a suicide shoulder block.

Allin also had a Coffin Drop to the outside.

Unfortunately for Allin, PAC was stronger, more skilled, and possessing veteran savvy. PAC worked Allin’s back with a powerbomb onto the steel steps.

As the match climaxed, PAC obliterated Allin by catching a springboard Coffin Drop into a German suplex then a neck crushing powerbomb driver.

Allin kicked out that time, but he couldn’t kick out from a Black Arrow onto the lower back. PAC was victorious.

That was a solid bout. Both men had exciting moments. I like that it was clear PAC is a higher caliber wrestler than Allin. That’s how it should have been. PAC is an experienced vet that can match Allin’s speed and high-flying. All Allin had to offer was his heart and a few unorthodox maneuvers. I also like that these two got the opportunity to main event the show. It gave a feeling that they can be major players in the future.

Cyclops Mox

After PAC’s win, he was interviewed by Tony Schiavone. PAC was excited to bypass Moxley and go straight for Chris Jericho. His reasoning was that Moxley being physically incapacitated is equal to a forfeit.

The cameras caught Moxley being placed into an ambulance. He had a black bandage around his head to cove his injured eye. The doors closed. All of a sudden, Moxley kicked them open and stomped to the entrance ramp. He doesn’t care if he is blind, with no eyes, or half dead. Moxley will be there next week to wrestle PAC. The title shot belongs to Mox.

That ending was a bit thick but still exciting. Moxley is a lunatic and nothing will stop him from getting the AEW World Championship. The eye injury sets up intrigue and uncertainty for next week. I have to assume PAC is now the favorite. He’s vicious as well and won’t hesitate to poke Moxley’s good eye. PAC vs Jericho as the PPV main event doesn’t seem like the direction, but it could go there if AEW gives the PPV main event to Cody Rhodes and MJF instead. Next week should be a slobberknocker.

Hangman Page & Kenny Omega earn a title shot

The show opened with a four-way tag bout to earn a title shot against SCU. The competitors were the Young Bucks, Santana & Ortiz, Best Friends, and Hangman Page & Kenny Omega. The rules were two legal men and all the rest on the outside. For some reason, the three babyface teams were tagging each other in. I don’t understand the strategy of that. You can’t win if you aren’t the legal man. Nobody tagged in Santana or Ortiz, so they would storm the ring, beat someone up, drag the body to the corner, then force a tag.

The action was non-stop. Even Orange Cassidy got involved. He tilted the balance on a 9-man suplex scrum. My favorite move was a superplex by Trent to the outside on top of all the bodies below.

For the finish, Hangman tagged Matt Jackson to get himself in the ring. Matt was upset at this action. He ended up being bounced over the ropes. Chuck Taylor ate a V-Trigger from Omega then was sandwiched with a buckshot lariat and a V-Trigger. Page pinned Taylor to win.

After the match, the Young Bucks whined about what happened. They were angry with Hangman. Omega played peacemaker, and the four shook hands. Hangman grabbed a beer from the crowd. Omega took it away, so Hangman grabbed another.

That was easily the best match of the evening. So much action. So many flashy moves. For story reasons, Hangman & Omega was the best team to win. It looks like there will be an eventual breakup, so AEW might as well give them a title shot to freshen up the feuds for SCU.

The Young Bucks continue to be unlikable characters on Dynamite, in my eyes. I understand their frustration about not winning, but they acted like they were robbed. They seem very entitled. I don’t doubt the Jacksons would have done the same if they were in a similar position. There was also a little bit of story with Hangman not feeling part of the Elite during the match, when those three hit combo moves and celebrated together. With all these skirmishes with skinny chumps, I want to see Hangman level up and start wrecking fools.


DDP made his return to the ring for a special six-man to team with Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall against MJF, Blade, and Butcher. The bad guys also had Wardlow and Bunny by their side. MJF entered as the scumbag he is with a t-shirt about banging DDP’s daughter.

MJF used all his heel tricks, such as eye pokes, using the Dynamite Diamond ring for a punch, and convenient outside interference. His squad focused on working over Dustin for most of the match. That was until DDP got the hot tag to clean house and hit Diamond Cutters.

That clip cuts off before DDP hit a cutter on MJF, but don’t fear. DDP did his thing after MJF was smashed with a Canadian Destroyer from Dustin. That was not the end of the match though. The action got hectic with everyone jumping onto everyone else on the outside. Inside the ring, MJF snuck a roll-up on QT to win.

MJF’s team won, as they should have. However, this match was all about DDP making moments for the fans. He wasn’t asked to do a lot. With the spots DDP did do, he delivered. I’m not expecting this to be a semi-comeback for DDP, but he showed AEW can dust him off from time to time if needed.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Cody accepts. Cody Rhodes came down solo dressed as Sonny Crockett to give an answer about MJF’s stipulations for a match at the Revolution PPV on February 29.

Cody attempted psychology to sow doubt in MJF’s mind about each stipulation. Wardlow may be a bigger star than MJF once he starts wrestling. Pain is no problem for Rhodes. Cody already lives rent-free in MJF’s head, so there is no need to touch him. Cody may have failed as a mentor, but he will teach MJF one last lesson. This is not MJF’s story. MJF is a chapter in Cody’s story.

This was a relatively quick segment. I appreciate that AEW didn’t needlessly stretch it to a 15 minute gab session. The content of Cody’s promo didn’t work for me. I saw through his attempts at manipulation. I assume MJF did too. He is better than me, and I know it.

Joey is a bad boy. Joey Janela cut a promo about having a better year. He then had words for Penelope Ford after she hit his nuts last week. The only way she can get noticed is by using his name. He challenged her pretty boy sidepiece, Kip Sabian, to cross the line and see what happens. Janela wrestles Fenix next week. That will be the start of proving himself for 2020.

Slow burning mid-card feuds are good. Janela is only going to get so much screen time, so make it count when he appears. I sure hope he doesn’t beat Fenix clean next week. That will make me smash my head against the keyboard.

Kris Statlander & Hikaru Shida defeated Brandi Rhodes & Mel. Awesome Kong was supposed to wrestle, but she was not medically cleared due to illness. The match started off exciting as Luther blocked Shida during her entrance. Brandi and Mel put the boots to Statlander. Shida whacked Luther with a kendo stick then chased off the villains. The action was plodding after that.

Mel worked most of the bout for her team. She used her lanky limbs as an advantage. Mel has potential but is not up to snuff quite yet. It may have been booked so she didn’t do cool moves to get cheers. This was her first match that I’ve seen, so I can’t say for sure.

The top spots were Shida’s running knee off the chair and Statlander finally getting her chance to whoop Brandi with a discus clothesline and a spinning sitdown driver.

In the end, Statlander won with the Big Bang Theory on Mel. This match was not so hot. I like the feud, so I’ll give it a pass due to Kong’s cancellation forcing Brandi to be in the ring.

Dark Order plans revealed. A Dark Order vignette informed us of their plans to ruin the Elite. They are trying to recruit Michael Nakazawa, Kenny Omega, Brandon Cutler, and Hangman Page. They believe Hangman could be their next major acquisition.

It was interesting to learn the methodology of the Dark Order’s actions. It brings up several questions. My main query is if this video was shown to all of AEW or if we are supposed to accept it was only for the viewers. If it aired to all of AEW, then their master plan has been stupidly spoiled. I’m not sure about the answer, since commentary didn’t respond much afterward.

Drunkman Page. SCU was doing an interview when Hangman, with a glass of whiskey, bumped into Christopher Daniels. Whiskey was spilled. A shirt was soiled. Tempers flared. Kenny Omega soothed emotions. It was a quick scene to get SCU on screen and continue establishing Hangman’s fondness for booze.

Stud of the Show: DDP flying

DDP’s work was enjoyable. Seeing him deliver a Diamond Cutter never gets old. The spot that wowed me was DDP’s flying attack to the bodies below.

It has been awhile since I rewatched a DDP match, but I don’t recall that maneuver in his arsenal. Three cheers for DDP.

Dud of the Show: Bash at the Beach theme

The set for Bash at the Beach looked festive. Outside of the decorations, there wasn’t much tie-in to the gimmick theme. No props were used for violence. No creative stunts occurred. If the Bash at the Beach name didn’t have its own history, I would’ve assumed it was just something different for being in Miami.

I’m not sure what the purpose of these taglines are for the Dynamite episodes. Two weeks ago was Homecoming. Last week was Anniversary. This week was Bash at the Beach. All three times, it was a superficial title with nothing of substance.

Grade: B

Enjoyable show. Interesting story advancement and plenty of popping moments. The women’s match and the lack of anything special about the Bash at the Beach theme dragged the grade down.

We’ll close with Sammy Guevara’s cue card gimmick for this week.

How do you rate this episode of Dynamite? What was your favorite moment?

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