What a week it has been for All Elite Wrestling, The announcement that Paul Wight has joined with them as Commentator for AEW’s new show AEW DARK: Elevation. The excellent Japanese Bracket of the AEW Women’s No1 Contender Tournament continues and the road to Revolution is well underway. So what did this week’s Dynamite have in store for fans? Well, read the review and find out.
Jon Moxley vs. ‘The Hollywood Hunk’ Ryan Nemeth
In a match that barely lasted three minutes, Nemeth was simply used as a statement to showcase Moxley, showing he is ready for Omega and to get the fans ready for Revolution held on March 8th.
Despite a flurry of early strikes by Nemeth, this match was all Moxley. He dominated Nemeth starting with a blistering slap that knocked him to the floor, followed up by a german suplex, then piecing chops and running clotheslines. Whatever fight was within Nemeth was over by the time he received the Paradigm Shift.
Winner: Jon Moxley
After the match: The battle lines are drawn and the hype for the Exploding Barbwire Death Match stipulation announced last week on Dynamite is near fever pitch. After the match, Moxley pulled up a chair and delivered a fantastic promo in the middle of the ring:
“Exploding. Barbed. Wire. Deathmatch. What images come to mind when you think of these words? Fire? Blood? Burns? Torture? Agony? Vintage Japanese Magazines? How do these images make you feel? Are you disgusted? Are you revolted? Do your palms sweat? Do your hands shake? Do you get a sick thrill? Whats do these images mean to me…I’m addicted to it, I’m addicted to the feeling of it…laying my soul bare, I can’t get enough of it!…if it does come to an end at Revolution…You will know when it’s all said and done, I gave you everything I had, what a way to go out!”
This was a great way to hype up the collision between Moxley and Omega, and furthermore, personally, it is was good to see a Moxley match not end with him not being attacked by Omega and the Good Brothers. It was a good reminder the Moxley can cut a hell of a promo and why he is a main-event player.
Team Taz (Brian Cage & Ricky Starks) vs. Varsity Blondes (Griff Garrison & Brian Pillman Jr.)
The commentary was filled with callbacks to last week regarding Cage powerbombing Sting and that he was at the arena wanting revenge against Team Taz. The match began seeing Pillman versus Starks and both exchanged moves flowingly, with Pillman getting the upper hand after hitting a smooth dropkick through the ropes to the floor.
The match turned on its head once Cage seized Pillman and threw him against the ring post, Pillman then fell against the steel steps afterwards. What occurred for the next five minutes was a demonstration of dominance and tag team superiority from Team Taz.
Starks connected with knees to the back of Pillman’s neck, punches to the face, a snap suplex and then Cage was tagged in. He brutalised his opponent with two punt kicks to the face, a back suplex then performed pull-ups using Pillman’s defeated body before throwing him over his head. As Starks was tagged back in, he struck a dropkick from the top turnbuckle, to get a near fall.
Pillman valiantly fought back and got the hot tag from Garrison. He hit Starks with a splash in the corner, then a leaping splash over the top rope to the floor on Cage. Then both men connected with a dropkick powerbomb from the top turnbuckle on Starks to get a near fall.
A disjointed ending occurred when the momentum from the Blondes was ridiculously cut short for the ending when Starks executed a spear to Garrison, then Cage decimated Pillman with a discus lariat and the Drill Floor City to get the pinball.
Winners: Team Taz (Brian Cage and Ricky Starks)
The match itself was fairly decent and established Cage and Starks as a force to be reckoned with. However, Pillman was in the match far too long, took far too much punishment and fans never got to see enough from Garrison. I just think more can be done with the Varsity Blondes and fans aren’t getting that chance to see it yet.
After the match: A video vignette aired. The video itself, set in the desert, old country music playing and Sting driving a car with a rope strung out attached to a body bag. Opening the body bag, it was Darby Allin who leaned up and he smiles at Sting knowing that he’s been rescued, remember he was kidnapped two weeks ago. Seriously, is that not against the law?
Anyway, next we cut back to the ring and Sting arrives dragging a body bag. As he stands on the ramp, he unzips the body bag and it’s an unconscious Hook, Taz’s son! He then points to the rafters and Allin zip lines down to the ring and attacks Team Taz with his skateboard. Sting arrives into the ring and beats the hell out of Cage with a Stinger splash and Scorpion Death Drop while Allin knocks a retreating Starks out with a splash over the ropes. This is exactly what their feud needed, an ass-kicking segment.
Backstage Segment: Tony Schiavone sit down interview with Miro, Kip Sabin and Penelope Ford.
The four discuss the traumatic experience they suffered at the hands of Orange Cassidy and Chuckie T when they destroyed Sabin and Ford’s wedding. Miro states, “Charles can come back, be a man, I’ll forgive but not forget. Do not act like a child, and associate with Orange Cassidy, I’ll teach you how to be a man.”
They then receive a note from a messenger, it’s on behalf of Orange Cassidy and Chuckie T, with a question, Face us at Revolution, Yes/No/Maybe? Miro then crumples up the note and attempts to eat it then spits it back at Schiavone closing the interview.
Jake Hager vs. Brandon Cutler
A match lasting just over three minutes and largely dominated by Hager. From the start, Hager just overpowered Cutler, by deadlifting him into back suplexes twice and repeatedly forcing him into the corner then connecting with stiff rib shots and a Hager Bomb.
Cutler did get back into the match by using Hager’s momentum against him and forcing him to the outside where Cutler stuck with suicide dive through the ropes and a running backflip over the top rope. But despite turning the tide, it was cut short and Hager striking with a devastating running clothesline.
Winner: Jake Hager
After the match: The Inner Circle members, Wardlow, Santana and Otiz joined Hager to beat the hell out of Cutler, but he was rescued by The Young Bucks who sent the four Inner Circle members away from the ring. The Young Bucks then demanded that Chris Jericho and MJF come to the ring to fight.
In true Jericho and MJF style, they appeared via video screen, with a blood-smeared Papa Buck. The duo then attacked and humiliated him again as they sent a statement ahead of their Tag Team Championship match with The Young Bucks at Revolution.
Just in case if there was any doubt of who the fans should be rooting for during their upcoming match, this move by Jericho and MJF displayed that they will sink to any level to get under the skin of their opponents and perform any dastardly act to gain the advantage.
Hangman Page vs. Isiah Kassidy w/Matt Hardy and The Hybrid2
The battle between Hardy and Page has now engulfed the Private Party, The Hybrid2, and The Dark Order after last week when Page was ambushed by Hardy’s associates. Hardy’s growing attempts to get Page to join him and resulting rejection have seemed to make Hardy unhinged.
The match began with Page being solidly in control of the match, overpowering Kassidy in and out of the ring. Overside the ring, Hardy got involved and shoved Page shoulder-first into the steel post when Referee Aubrey Edwards was distracted by The Hybrid2.
After some convincing from the arriving Dark Order, she ejected Hardy from the ring. This only appeared to enrage Cassidy who took his frustrations out on an injured Page. He began torturing the shoulder of Page, wrenching on it over the ropes and striking with stiff kicks. Despite the fightback from Page, Kassidy would go back to targeting the shoulder to gain the advantage.
The match was back and forth and showcased both wrestlers talents, however, the ending came when Page hit a midair Death Valley Driver while Kassidy fought back with a reverse rana. Exhausted, Page wasn’t done yet and won a hard-fought victory with the Dead Eye.
Winner: Hangman Page
After the match: Over the microphone, Hardy cut a promo vowing to hurt every member of The Dark Order. Suddenly he appeared from the entranceway, throwing Alan “V” Angels off the stage and through a table.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) February 25, 2021
Once again Page is shown as one of the most consistent wrestlers on the roster producing another fine match with Kassidy. It should be said that Kassidy excelled in this match, showcasing that if he was to be a singles star, he would be right at home with performances like this. The Hardy vs Page storyline has gathered momentum by adding in that Page has joined forces with The Dark Order and that they at some point will face Hardy’s ever-growing faction. That is yet to be seen, but right now destination is Revolution and I feel the feud won’t end there.
Women’s World Title Eliminator Match: Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose
The two women locked up and it was Rose who won the power display, easily. This would be the story of the match as Rose continued to demonstrate that power with several scoop slams and a Samoan drop.
The calculating Baker headed to the outside of the ring luring Rose out and from there, targeted Rose’s left shoulder after she hit it against the ring post. Baker targeted the left shoulder when both wrestlers entered the ring again with stiff back heel kicks, elbow strikes and a hammerlock.
Rose would get the advantage again, as she managed to hit Baker with a series of clotheslines, a shoulder breaker, and a choke-slam. But Reba got involved in the match and paid the price as she suffered a senton bomb into the turnbuckle.
WHAT A FIGHT! Who wants it the most?
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) February 25, 2021
The distraction paid dividends as this allowed Baker to get back into the match, as she launched countless attacks on the shoulder, from stiff kicks to a crucifix bomb and hooking in the lock-jaw several times but Rose wouldn’t give up. Rose wouldn’t be denied the victory as she got back into the match with a stiff right hand to the face of Baker and a Beast Bomb, near fall. But it took another Beast Bomb to get the win.
Winner: Nyla Rose
Another great match from the Women’s Division, a superb return from Nyla Rose and another excellent showing from Baker. I can only imagine the reason why Rose won was that to remind fans how awesome she is and that Baker will get a chance at some point to face the Champion whoever that may be. However, from a storyline point of view, it would have made sense for Baker to win, due to the fact she has a feud with Thunder Rosa and issues with Riho. The decision baffles me. Also as for the Women’s No1 Contender Tournament, is AEW going to do this all the time to select a No1 Contender for the Champion? Loving the amazing matches but it would have been easier to have a tournament for a second title rather than a No1 Contender. It’s just a thought.
AEW’s Face of the Revolution Ladder Match Qualifier: Rey Fénix vs. Lance Archer
The dynamic Fenix versus the monster Archer, two contrasting styles. The match began exactly how you think it would with Archer overpowering the smaller Fénix. But this match was all about storytelling and Fénix used his speed to balance the scales, hitting a suicide dive through the ropes hitting Archer and landing over the railings on his feet. Wither he meant it or not, that looked great. Fénix wasn’t done as then hit a senton over Jake Roberts to Archer and his relentlessness continued with a splash from the top turnbuckle to the outside. It seemed as he had the advantage until Archer regained his senses.
Archer responded with striking blows to the face, and just choked Fénix over the ropes. The power of Archer was one display as the match progressed as he withstood chops and recovered to hit a Fénix (who was on the outside of the ring) with a lariat that propelled him 360-degree face-first to the floor.
The assault continued as Archer seized Fénix and rag-dolled him across the floor, throwing him into the railings and then hit a running senton into the railings as Fenix looked to be dismantled.
The punishment was halted as Fénix dropped the monster with a flying head stomp from the top turnbuckle, near fall. Archer then hit a german release suplex and a moonsault from the top rope. Fénix wasn’t out though, as he struck with high kicks, an amazing tight rope kick to the face and a cutter, near fall.
The fantastic match came to an end as Archer hit a fisherman buster then Fénix hit a Spanish fly from the top turnbuckle but the tide turned again as Archer then hit a chokeslam and then the Blackout to get the win.
Winner: Lance Archer
What a match. Seriously, this was an excellent match. Archer is just the whole package in that ring, the strength, the speed and the balance, he has the ability to take AEW to another level. What can I say about Fenix, he was incredible in this match as well and that tight rope kick he performed was excellent to watch. If by the end of 2021 barring injuries and he hasn’t held a Championship, then AEW has done him wrong.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) February 25, 2021
Overall: A solid episode of Dynamite, two excellent matches and several superb ones. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Dynamite needs more matches from the Women’s Division. Wither it’s TNT or AEW itself not allowing it, the talent from the roster within AEW’s Women’s Division is excellent and that is even before I mention the awesome wrestlers from the Japanese Bracket.
Case in point, a couple of matches from tonight could have been on AEW Dark because it would have given fans a reason to tune into AEW Dark for storyline purposes then pulled a match from the Women’s No1 Contender Tournament that’s to be held on the Bleacher Report onto this show. AEW, I stress this to you, you have the talent, give the fans storylines to be invested.
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