AEW Dynamite made good on their time in Corpus Christi, Texas with a No Holds Barred Texas Street Fight main event as Santana and Ortiz took on the Young Bucks for a chance to become the #1 contenders for the AEW World Tag Team Championship as well making a big announcement for February.

Jon Moxley vs Alex Reynolds w/ John Silver

As quick as Excalibur informed us that Jon Moxley had the record for the quickest victory in Dynamite’s run so far, he beat his own record by putting away Reynolds with a Paradigm Shift. However, it’s what happened after that was interesting.

The entire Inner Circle descended down to the ring as Jericho addressed the No.1 contender. Jericho brought up their past as both a mentor and adversary to Moxley as well as the fact Jericho held the door open for Moxley in AEW.

He made Moxley an offer to join the Inner Circle and allowed him to take his time and let him know in the New Year before giving Moxley an Inner Circle T-Shirt to keep.

It’s an interesting angle to take and Jericho’s promo expertly made use of their WWE history without ever directly mentioning the company which was very tactful.


The Butcher & the Blade w/ The Bunny vs Cody & QT Marshall

The odds were stacked against Cody but he came out of the gate swinging putting the pressure on early against the Blade before both Cody and the Blade tagged out to their partners.

The Butcher and the Blade were putting the hurt on Marshall preventing him from getting the hot tag to Cody but he finally managed to breakthrough after a surprising handstand rebound off of the ropes.

Cody would try and end it with the figure-four leglock but a counter allowed the Bunny to rake Cody’s eyes putting him out of action. Marshall tagged himself in and looked like he would be able to make the comeback they needed with a cartwheel to a corkscrew to the outside.

Cody was taken out by the Butcher and the numbers game became too much for Marshall as he ate a cutter, a lariat and an assisted lung blower and lost the match.

The Butcher and the Blade looked great here in victory and they built a great underdog dynamic with Cody and Marshall that really made this match exciting to watch. The new team looks strong and the babyfaces are moreover in defeat, perfect booking.

After the match, Darby Allin came out and offered his hand out to Cody showing that someone will still be there when he reaches out.


MJF has an answer for Cody

MJF and Wardlow came down to the ring as MJF called out Cody with a promo laced with bile and spite that was like an else-world equivalent of Cody’s impassioned babyface promos. Despite MJF’s age, he’s already mastered his promo work, he can play a crowd, build heat and most importantly, is laser-focused on making the money a feud can draw.

MJF accepted Cody’s challenge but with the caveat that he will decide the stipulation which he’ll reveal in Jacksonville.


Dark Order recruit another team?

I’ve not mentioned these promos in past reviews but the Dark Order have been presenting us with cult-like recruitment promos encouraging the downtrodden to join them. Alone in a hotel room, Alex Reynolds laments the Beaver Boys’ multiple losses before being directly targeted by the hotel room’s advertising which implores him to join the Dark Order.

AEW is in danger of hitting faction overload if it’s not careful but as it stands, the Dark Order are really intriguing and them slowly building their ranks as a cult could be something special.

Big Swole vs Emi Sakura

Building on her heart-warming segment on AEW Dark, Big Swole looked to make an impact on the rankings against Emi Sakura starting the match strong with some heavy offence on the Joshi veteran.

Sakura took back control and put Swole in the Romero Special going into the break but coming back Swole made her comeback gaining a close 2 count. Sakura countered Swole with a swinging neckbreaker and followed up with her corner crossbody.

Sakura looked to finish Swole off with a moonsault but a dodge gave Swole her momentum to hit the Dirty Dancing for the win.

A strong showing from Swole here but the women’s division needs structure. As good as this match was, it was too long and some of that time could have been used to build an angle and get Swole over even more. The rankings are mentioned a lot but it’s not enough to make the crowd really invest in any of the women performers.


Shawn Spears & Kip Sabian w/ Penelope Ford vs Kenny Omega & Hangman Page

Blanchard paired Sabian and Spears together here to look for a potential partner for his prodigy as they took on the former Elite allies.

Omega and Page were off to a strong start but the narrative saw Page refuse to play along with Omega, having a more lone-wolf demeanour determined to prove himself outside of the Elite.

After the break, a distraction from Ford allowed the heel pair to get the momentum back in their favour and she even helped out again planting Page with an apron to floor hurricanrana.

Just as the bad guys looked to be ready to secure the win, the lights went out and when they came back up Blanchard had been tied to a chair by Joey Janela. Spears ran to save Blanchard and brawl with Janela leaving Sabian isolated. Omega hit the V-Trigger and looked to finish off Sabian but Page tagged himself in and hit the Buckshot Lariat to win the match himself.

A solid match with a lot of nice narratives beats here. The lone wolf aspect of Page’s character is very intriguing and was told well throughout the match.


The Nightmare Collective gains a bald man

Brandi Rhodes gave another promo where she spouted stilted nonsense in an angle that’s not engaging or even comprehensible. She also showed a bald man in her ranks but refused to reveal who it was yet. She did, however, make a good point that Riho has been nowhere to be seen for weeks, what’s up with that?

Sammy Guevara vs Luchasaurus w/ Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt

Jericho and Jake Hager shooed away Excalibur and Tony Schiavone so they could join JR on commentary which was fun to see.

Guevara utilised his speed to get the better of the powerhouse of Luchasaurus, sneaking out of every attempt for the big guy to grab him until he ate a kick while on the top rope as he tumbled to the outside.

Coming out of the break, Guevara kept up the speed, game-keeping Luchasaurus from building an advantage. Guevara would finally get caught after Luchasaurus dodged a moonsault, standing moonsault and finally a shooting star press that he caught via a neck grab. Luchasaurus finished off Guevara with a tombstone facebuster before Jericho and Hager ran to the ring to beat down Luchasaurus.

Luchasaurus kept Hager at bay as Jungle Boy took out Jericho with a hurricanrana pin that Stunt counted as a three count. Jungle Boy will face Jericho in a 10-minute non-title match next week which could lead to a title opportunity for him.


AEW Revolution

AEW’s next PPV was announced for February 29th from Chicago under the name AEW Revolution. No matches announced yet but there’s plenty of time to build now AEW has a goal to aim for.

Texas Street Fight for the No.1 Contendership for the AEW Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks vs Santana & Ortiz

These guys didn’t wait around as the Young Bucks got jumped by Proud N Powerful and Sammy Guevara using their madballs before the match opened. Brandon Cutler tried to help but ended up getting put through the stage for his trouble.

As the action hit the ring, Santana would be flipped into a table on the outside by Matt before Ortiz flipped Matt into a table on the outside and hit a diving cannonball into a third table that Nick was resting on. Crazy stuff.

After the break, the Bucks were on the comeback as Nick hit a 450 splash through a trashcan on Ortiz. Hager would save his allies from a loss as the referee got taken out before Dustin Rhodes came down to even the odds and took out Hager.

The 2 teams thwarted each other’s pin attempts by taking out referees before a Street Sweeper attempt was thwarted by Nick as he hit Ortiz with a bulldog onto some chairs set up by Proud and Powerful before hitting the Meltzer Driver onto Ortiz for the victory. They will face SCU next week for the AEW World Tag Team Championship.

This match was crazy with lots of creative weapon spots and some clever close calls that utilised the no DQ rules effectively.

Everything involving the men this week was superb with great match quality and fantastic in-ring storytelling married with some great promo work. However, despite Swole and Sakura being a good match, it remains indicative of the go-nowhere booking of the women’s division that is a real blind spot for the company. Having said that, this was another solid 2 hours of television that you won’t want to miss out on.


All pictures and videos courtesy of AEW and Lee South/AEW

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