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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Jan. 8, 2020): Moxley double swerve

AEW on TNT’s Twitter

AEW Dynamite (Jan. 8, 2020) emanated from Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi, which is across the state border from Memphis, Tennessee. It featured Jon Moxley giving his answer to the Inner Circle, an exciting brothers tag match, DDP banging, and the Nightmare Collective fussing up the women’s title match.

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

Mox is a jokester

The main event segment was the drama of if Jon Moxley will join the Inner Circle. At first, he said yes. The crowd went silent. Moxley reasoned that he wanted to dominate and the Inner Circle is the most dominant force in AEW. He wanted to surround himself with the greatness of Le Champion. The Inner Circle boasted and celebrated with a little bit of the bubbly. Moxley reminded Chris Jericho to toss him the keys of the $750,000 Ford GT as promised. More bubbly flowed.

Moxley grabbed the mic one last time to say he was kidding. He would never join the Inner Circle. That stupid group has nothing to offer, except Jericho’s AEW World Championship.


Moxley busted a bubbly bottle on Jericho’s head then hit him with a Paradigm Shift. Sammy Guevara got one too. Moxley escaped the ring before Jake Hager could reach him.

That was a hoot, but I’m not sure if I consider that segment a success. The beginning and end were cool. The middle not so much. We all expected Moxley to turn down Jericho’s offer. AEW decided to swerve us by having Moxley say yes. I’m fine with that. Moxley then double swerved to not join. I’m fine with that too. The problem was that the scene took a very long time to unfold. I was waiting for something to happen or someone to show up as a surprise. It took so long that I questioned if that was really how they would end the show. Perhaps it would have been better to start the show with that segment.

As for Moxley’s ultimate decision, blasting a bottle of bubbly on Jericho’s noggin was a fantastic visual. I also like that Moxley ran from Jake Hager. It keeps Hager’s mystique strong. I suspect it will be Moxley vs Jericho at the Revolution PPV on February 29, but I’d be okay if AEW stalled for time by making Moxley vs Hager instead. For Hager, there is no better man on the AEW roster to lose to than Moxley. Whatever happens, I want to hear Moxley say Le Champion many more times. It sounds funny coming from him.

Match of the night

The Rhodes Bros vs the Lucha Bros was the match of the night. It was full of fiery moves. It was also noticeable that the Lucha Bros worked on the detail of making official tags. They slapped hands loud each time. Once again, Arn Anderson earned his pay as coach by preventing Fenix using a chair.

For the finish, the Rhodes Bros reigned supreme. Dustin hit a Canadian Destroyer on Fenix, Cody hit Pentagon with a springboard cutter, then Dustin pinned Fenix with his Final Reckoning swinging suplex.

Fan reaction time. Booooo! Filth flarn filth. I disliked the Lucha Bros losing that match. They worked Dustin’s leg a long time but that didn’t matter in the end. The Rhodes Bros Cena’d up. Booooo!

Fool me once...

After the match, Tony Schiavone asked Cody about MJF’s stipulations for a match. Arn Anderson butted in and rambled about MJF thinking he has the stroke to make such demands. Arn said they will discuss it as a team and give an answer next week. Cody did not speak on the subject.

Two thoughts. First, Arn’s statements were out of place for the story. The idea is MJF doesn’t need this match. Cody does. Why would MJF give in to anything less? Second, this is the second straight week that AEW teased a big answer only to put it off until the next week. Last week was Moxley and the Inner Circle. I hope this doesn’t become a habit with AEW. I’m okay with the idea of delaying an answer. I get annoyed when they hype it up and don’t deliver. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, and I’ll change the channel.


Later, MJF came out for a promo to call Cody a coward for not accepting. MJF ordered that Cody come out to answer. Cody did not appear, but DDP did. DDP insulted Motormouth Jackoff Friedman then said fans had been asking him one question since his last appearance. Will he have another match?

That led to Blade, Butcher, and Bunny coming down to the ring. MJF offered two options to DDP. Kiss his ring and get out of his company. Or, get beat up then watch MJF take of one his daughters to do one thing, bang!

DDP goozled MJF, hit some cutters on Blade and Butcher, then was low-blow kicked by MJF. QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes chased off the bad guys.

That was a fun little skirmish. DDP was soaking up time, but MJF kept his tongue sharp. The bang line from MJF cracked me up. Conspicuous by his absence was Cody. Commentary did cover for Cody by claiming he probably couldn’t hear or see what was going on, but I don’t buy it. Dustin was out there with his hobbled leg. Why not Cody? More evidence that MJF may have a point about Cody.

The answer to if DDP will have one more match is yes. It was announced that MJF, Blade, and Butcher will wrestle DDP, QT Marshall, and Dustin Rhodes. I didn’t think I desired another DDP match, but here we are and I’m excited for it.

Hot mess

Kris Statlander challenged Riho for the AEW Women’s World Championship. The match was going fine. Statlander executed a nifty delayed vertical superplex.

That’s when Awesome Kong and Mel of the Nightmare Collective came down to the ring and made their presence felt. Mel physically interfered with Riho on the floor. Statlander wasn’t having it, so she hit Mel with a suicide dive. Kong’s turn was next.

Brandi Rhodes had been on commentary, but she entered the fray to support her troops. Brandi got in Statlander’s face. Then the mystery bald man from a previous Nightmare Collective vignette came out from under the ring.

That man is named Luther. He is supposedly a death match specialist. Statlander wound up to punch Brandi, but Luther caught her arm. Kong ran over to clothesline Statlander. Statlander was rolled back in the ring. Riho climbed the corner and decided not to take advantage of the situation. Instead, she flew for a crossbody onto Luther.

The crowd erupted. Riho and Statlander exchanged some holds, but the Nightmare Collective played a role in the finish. Statlander had Riho in a tombstone position. Mel distracted the referee, so Kong could grab Statlander’s leg. That allowed Riho to roll up Statlander for victory. Riho was not pleased about how she won.

After the match, Kong laid into Statlander. Riho tried to stop Kong, but she wasn’t strong enough. Kong and Mel were cleaning their clocks. That’s when Hikaru Shida joined the action. She had been sitting ringside with Britt Baker. Shida made the save, while Baker shooed her hands at the situation. Big Swole and Sonny Kiss also lent a hand for the good gals.

This title match was a hot mess, but I was amused by it all. My only issue was that’s not how I want title matches to unfold. Other than that, heck yeah. Riho retained. Statlander and Kong are on a closer path to collide. Hikaru Shida got some shine on the save. Big Swole and Sonny Kiss now hopefully have direction. They both need more screen time and this should give it to them. Luther is weird, but he appears to have a purpose. Will Sonny Kiss be his first death match victim?

Next week will be Kris Statlander & Hikaru Shida tagging against Awesome Kong & Mel.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Hangman Page & Kenny Omega defeated Private Party. Hangman and Omega had a couple of miscommunications that resulted in teammate contact, but they stayed focused and worked well as a team.

In the end, Page and Omega nailed Marq Quen with a buckshot lariat/V-trigger sandwich.

Omega won with the One Winged Angel on Quen. Afterward, Omega and Page were slightly standoffish over the moments of accidental contact, but they ended with a handshake.

I’m glad Hangman & Omega were victorious. Private Party is not my cup of tea. They are like cotton candy, sweet with no substance. Private Party was cool at first, but I’m over their hype. Also, I do kind of believe Hangman could whip those two toothpicks by himself.

PAC still wants his rubber match. Right after the Page & Omega win, PAC was shown on the big screen brutalizing Michael Nakazawa in the dressing room. PAC reiterated that he wants his rubber match with Omega or this harm will continue to happen. Omega ran to the back at the urging of Page, while Page hung around the ring to drink beer with the fans. Commentary put Hangman’s actions over as a bum move for not sticking by Omega’s side.

I’m sure PAC will get his rubber match, but it won’t be next week. PAC vs Darby Allin was announced. That should be awesome.

Superbad. Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford received the highlight package treatment. I hope AEW follows through on the intergender tag tease from Being the Elite. After tonight, teams are forming with Superbad, Kenny Omega & Riho, Luther with Kong or Mel, and Sonny Kiss with maybe Big Swole.

Sammy Guevara defeated Christopher Daniels. Daniels was in control, then Pentagon showed up to challenge Daniels to do a springboard maneuver. Pentagon wanted to see if Daniels was mentally over his botch from last year. Daniels hesitated too long and ran into a knee from Sammy. A big kick to the back of the head gave Sammy the win. Pentagon laughed like a supervillain at Daniels demise.

The Daniels story is really well done for this reason. I can’t tell if the original botch was on purpose or if the both was accidental and the story was crafted from that moment. Either way, thumbs up for the work.

The Dark Order invaded. Evil Uno and his crew tried to recruit Daniels immediately after his loss. Uno handed a mask to Daniels. Daniels teased putting it on then threw it at Uno. The creeper pummeling commenced. SCU and the Young Bucks ran down for the save. Stu Grayson stood out by having no fear to fight SCU and the Bucks 1-on-4. He lost, but showing intestinal fortitude always makes me a fan. The segment ended with Daniels successfully landing a springboard moonsault to apparently conquer his mental woes.

Jurassic Express defeated Best Friends & Orange Cassidy. This match fell flat. It was a slower pace and took a long time to get to what the people wanted; Luchasaurus versus Orange Cassidy. That part was gold.

I’m not on the OC fan train, but that was enjoyable. In the end, Jungle Boy pinned Chuck Taylor by reversing a powerbomb into a hurricanrana pin. That was Jungle Boy’s first winning pin in AEW.

Stud of the Show: Brandi Rhodes on commentary

Brandi Rhodes was on commentary for the women’s title bout. She was hilariously surly. Brandi mocked Excalibur’s mask and referred to him as Exhibit (he slyly called her Britney), doubted Britt Baker’s intelligence in the dental field, and much more. Brandi totally has the chops to be a heel announcer. I would actually tune in to hear her insults week to week.

Honorable mention goes to Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur for cracking jokes all night long, such as JR saying he threw his back out doing the floss dance and Excalibur wondering if Wardlow does DDPY. Their good spirit was contagious for my viewing experience.

Dud of the Show: Rhodes Bros hot tag

The hot tag between Dustin and Cody was not so hot. Dustin crawled across the ring at a snail’s pace as he waited for the Lucha Bros to be in position. Cody’s house cleaning was pretty cool though.

Grade: B+

Another quality effort from AEW. Good matches and even better story advancement. I like all the crazy factions, so these sagas entertain me. The first ninety minutes was rocking and very enjoyable. The final thirty minutes slowed down with the six-man and Moxley’s decision. That’s what drags down the grade.

We’ll close with a poem from Lanny Poffo. Oh, yeah!

How do you rate this episode of Dynamite? What was your favorite moment? Who was your stud and your dud of the show? Are you excited to see DDP in action next week?

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