AEW Dynamite Beach Break featured some huge matches, with the main event seeing Orange Cassidy and Adam Cole fight to the death in a Lights Out Match. Chris Jericho teamed up with Santana and Ortiz to face Danny Garcia and 2point0, Wardlow continued his dominant streak, and Leyla Hirsch took on Red Velvet in a personal bout. We also heard from Britt Baker, and CM Punk and MJF had some choice words for one and other. First off, though, we saw Sammy Guevara and Cody Rhodes battle to become the undisputed TNT Champion in a ladder match.
Sammy Guevara defeated Cody Rhodes by grabbing both belts. ****½
Wardlow defeated Elijah Dean and James Alexander via pinfall. *
Chris Jericho & Santana & Ortiz defeated 2point0 & Danny Garcia via pinfall. ***
Leyla Hirsch defeated Red Velvet via pinfall ***
Orange Cassidy defeated Adam Cole via pinfall. ****
TNT Championship Ladder Match: Sammy Guevara(C) vs Cody Rhodes (C)
This match was phenomenal throughout. Both men put everything on the line as they fought to become the undisputed TNT Champion. Rhodes and Guevara featured in the first-ever match to air on AEW Dynamite back when it debuted. Since that time, Guevara has improved so much. He has consistently shown why he deserves to be on the roster and has become the main player in the rise of the company. There were some fantastic spots in the match. Guevara jumping from one ladder in the corner to nail a cutter on Cody as he stood atop another was insane. Cody hit a Cross Rhodes off a ladder as Guevara was balancing on another. He also dropped Guevara abdomen-first onto the links between a ladder. The experience of Cody was almost too much for Guevara, but the Spanish God didn’t disappoint, and he didn’t let Cody walk away champion. Fuego Del Sol came down at one point in an effort to calm Cody down, but he ate a Tiger Driver for his troubles.
Despite Cody’s attempts to injure Guevara’s knee, he couldn’t get the victory. The match ended when Guevara smashed one of the belts into Cody’s face, knocking him off the ladder. It allowed Guevara to grab the two belts and become the undisputed TNT Champion. I’m not sure what’s next for Cody now. Was this a ‘passing the torch’ moment? It sure feels that way, especially as he has plenty of other things going on. There’s no official news about him renewing his contract, either. Maybe he’ll take a bit of a break and focus on his other endeavours for now. Regardless of what happens to the American Nightmare, this was a defining moment for Sammy, and I’m so happy for him. It was a top match, and easily the match of the night.
Wardlow W/ Shawn Spears vs Elijah Dean & James Alexander
As a surprise to no one, Wardlow decimated Dean and Alexander with countless powerbombs. Come on, Tony. Stop booking the Wardog in squash matches. It’s boring. Wardlow is so much more capable of better things.
Chris Jericho & Santana & Ortiz vs 2pointO (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) & Danny Garcia
There was some serious heat between the members of Inner Circle tonight. Santana and Ortiz refused to tag in Jericho, but it’s understandable given everything that has been said over recent weeks. These guys should’ve been AEW Tag Team Champions by now. Maybe Jericho is holding them back. In the match, Santana and Ortiz showed just why they are one of the best teams in AEW, despite Ortiz being isolated by Lee, Parker, and Garcia in the early stages. Santana almost got the pin until Garcia broke it up. Jericho hit Judas Effect on Parker as Santana dropped a piledriver, allowing him to get the pin. Jericho looked seriously annoyed with his ‘friends.’ Is this the end of Inner Circle?
Leyla Hirsch vs Red Velvet
Red Velvet showed off some impressive acrobatic moves, but Hirsch was so powerful, managing to deadlift Velvet and throw her into the turnbuckle. Hirsch locked up Velvet’s arm, then drove her knees into her side and landed a German suplex. Red Velvet hit a stunner off the second rope to give herself a bit of respite. Whatever she tried, Hirsch was right there able to beat the hell out of her. She pinned Red Velvet then attacked her after the bell went. Kris Statlander ran out to break up the armbar that Hirsch wouldn’t let go of.
Lights Out Match: Adam Cole vs Orange Cassidy
This match has been a long time coming. AEW knows how to build a feud, and when they get it right, we get big matches with everything to play for. Cassidy was more aggressive than normal, but Cole is a veteran of dangerous matches and managed to do some serious damage to Cassidy in the early stages. He went to grab a chair from underneath the ring and pulled out Danhausen who was on the other end. Haha, brilliant. It was going to happen eventually, but that was an amazing way to bring him to AEW. Cassidy picked up Cole and drove him through a table at ringside. He went for Orange Punch but Cole held up the ring bell. Cole launched Cassidy into the steel steps, then booted them on top of his hand that was trapped there. Cole threw a bunch of chairs into the ring, along with some other foreign objects. Back in the ring, Cole drove a steel chair into Cassidy’s ribs. He superkicked Cassidy who had a trash can over his head and body, then used a steel chain wrapped around Cassidy as he hit a backstabber.
Cole went to grab Cassidy who was outside the ring, but he used a fire extinguisher to force Cole away. Back inside, Cole hit a brainbuster on his knee. Cassidy connected with Stundog Millionaire, then a Michinoku Driver through two chairs. Brandon Cutler came out, but Wheeler Yuta attacked him. Bobby Fish ran out, as did Chuck Taylor. The Young Bucks superkicked Taylor, but Rocky Romero and Trent ran out and took them out. Cassidy hit Beach Break but only got a two-count. He hit Orange Punch, hurting his injured hand in the process. Cole hit a low blow, but Cassidy was wearing a protection cup covered in thumbtacks. Cassidy hit Panama Sunrise and went for Orange Punch with a chain wrapped around his hand, but Cole left the ring and headed to the back. In the go position, Cole dropped Cassidy through a table and went for a pin, only getting a two-count. They headed back towards the ramp where Cole hit a superkick. Cole went for Last Shot, but Cassidy hit a superkick of his own. Cole smashed a floor light into Cassidy and climbed the face tunnel. He was about to jump off, but Cassidy had climbed up. Cassidy hit a low blow on top of the tunnel, hugged Cole, then both guys fell off through the stage. Cassidy got the pin, simply by landing on top of him. Another great show, bookmarked by two fantastic matches. Happy Cassidy picked up the victory. Both guys were excellent in the main event, and that ending was brutal.
Tony Schiavone was freezing his ass off by the sea in Cleveland whilst interviewing Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs in the snow. Starks said that next week, he would be challenging Jay Lethal, and defending his FTW Championship in the process.
Lance Archer and “Hangman” Adam Page featured in a video package where Archer said they’d face each other in a Texas Death Match. The video was short and sweet, building some excitement for the match. I’m not massively keen on the feud, but hopefully, the match will be a good one.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) January 27, 2022
Backstage, Tony Schiavone was with the AEW Tag Team Champions Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus, and Christian, as well as Matt Hardy and Private Party. Hardy talked about how Private Party would walk away as champions this Friday on Rampage.
CM Punk hit the ring and said he was sick of hearing himself talk and was dressed to fight. He unzipped his hoody to reveal a Burberry scarf, and started mocking the quality of it. Punk said he’d chased him everywhere and been through FTR, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears to get to him. MJF walked out and asked the fans if they wanted him to wrestle CM Punk tonight? He then said he wasn’t going to waste one of the most historic matches in history on Cleveland. MJF said he would face CM Punk next week in Chicago, then ripped into him in a really brutal way. He talked about Punk no-showing Cleveland in 2014 and not caring about the fans, and that he would turn his back on the fans again. CM Punk said the best thing he ever did was leave, and then come back. He told him to go and get his gear on right now. Punk said he’d never lied to the people, but he always tried. He said he stood by his decisions, and fans like him because he always gets back up. FTR and Wardlow walked out as Spears attacked Punk in the ring. FTR held Punk as Spears hit him with a chair, but Wardlow stood and watched. Come on, Wardlow. Wheeler choked Punk with the scarf as MJF asked Wardlow to powerbomb him. Wardlow got him in position and powerbombed him onto a steel chair. MJF sat on Punk’s chest and said it was apt his career would end where it started, in Chicago. That was a great back-and-forth between MJF and Punk. It has gotten extremely personal, and their match next week is going to be awesome.
The Acclaimed talked about Jon Moxley. Bowen said he would beat Moxley this Friday on Rampage.
Griff Garrison and Julia Hart were backstage when Mark Sterling interrupted and said Jade Cargill had chosen Julia Hart as her next challenger. Garrison said that wasn’t a good idea, but she said she could fight her own battles.
A video promo aired where Malakai Black talked about Brody King being the embodiment of violence and conflict. King appeared and took shots at PAC. King said that just like death, Black finished the sentence and said it was inevitable.
— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) January 27, 2022
Sammy Guevara walked out with Fuego Del Sol and held up cards that said he climbed the ladder tonight like he climbed the ladder in the company. He said he didn’t brown nose, he did the work. Over 100 shows, he has gone from a supporting role to a key player. Guevara said the TNT Championship wasn’t just his, it was the fans as well. As the last card said thank you, he walked off. Aww, that was nice.
Tony Schiavone welcomed AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker D.M.D. to the ring. She talked about the year she had had, pointing at the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Awards that were spread out on the table in the ring. Baker said she’d turned a wasteland into a utopia, and she’d taken over the women’s division. She said she’d been making history since she arrived in AEW, and stood in front of the fans as the female wrestler of the year. She continued to mock Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield, then said she was going to be the female wrestler of the decade. She said the fans finally had a Baker they could be proud of. She may have been off the mic for a while, but she’s still so good on it.
The shrill voice of Vickie Guerrero filled Cleveland as Nyla Rose said she wanted Ruby Soho next week. Man, I hate Vickie’s voice so much.
We saw a look back at what led to Lee Johnson and Brock Anderson vs FTR.
Match of the Night: Sammy Guevara vs Cody Rhodes
Best in Show: Sammy Guevara
Overall Rating: ****
All images and videos courtesy of AEW – Very special thanks to Fite TV for the captures