AEW Dynamite Review: 30-Minute Iron Man Match
Another week, another Wednesday night, and another thrilling broadcast of AEW Dynamite. This week fans were treated to two tag team matches; a four-way women’s match, and the official weigh-in for the AEW World Championship match between champ Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley. Before all that, however, PAC and Kenny Omega went to face off in a 30-minute iron man match.
30 Minute Iron Man Match: Pac vs. Kenny Omega
Live from Kansas City, Dynamite opened with an incredible 30-minute iron man Match between Kenny Omega and Pac that is so good, it could have been the main event in an upcoming pay-per-view.
There are so many highlights in this match— from Pac delivering a killer DDT to Kenny Omega outside the ring on the hard-concrete floor— to PAC executing a brainbuster on Omega from the top rope, and so much more!
From the get-go, the Kansas City crowd was off the charts, cheering and chanting as loud as they could, further enhancing the excitement of it all. Fans watching from home were treated to twenty minutes of brutal, non-stop action before AEW cut to their first commercial break. It was all perfectly directed, unlike previous episodes in which the commercials would sometimes be inserted at the wrong time.
Other highlights included two near pinfalls courtesy of a tiger driver and a massive Bruce-Lee-style-kick that sent PAC flying toward the turnbuckle. From there Kenny Omega took a huge beating after PAC grabbed a chair from under the ring and slammed it against Omega’s skull, a decision that resulted in the first-ever disqualification in AEW history. The match was far from over, however, as PAC would proceed to take advantage of the beaten and exhausted Kenny Omega suplexing him out of the ring, and at one point, knocking out the referee. With the official out cold, PAC was able to place Kenny on a table and pull off a shooting star press from the top rope, sending them both through the table.
I don’t think it was a surprise to anyone that the match would end in a draw nor do I think it was a surprise that they would order the match to continue and proceed with a sudden death rule— shades of the Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels iron man match from WrestleMania XII. Overall, this match was almost perfect and a shiny example that when done right, the suspense of an iron man Match is unmeasurable. Not only were both men able to show off their wrestling abilities but the story revolving around the match continued to add fuel to the already rocky relationship between Kenny Omega and his tag team partner Adam Page who did not come out to support his partner ringside.
I said this last week, and I’ll say it again; I seriously doubt AEW will have Adam Page turn heel since he’s just too popular now. It would benefit the promotion more if Page and Omega lose the championship titles at Revolution and turn on each other, causing Omega to become the heel instead. This would keep Kenny Omega busy; help push Adam Page further into the spotlight; allow the Young Bucks to wrestle another top talent such as Santana and Ortiz; and create two new rivalries and storylines fans can get behind over the next few months.
I guess we’ll find out in two days but in the meantime, it seems the months-long rivalry between Kenny Omega and Pac has concluded. Hopefully, we will see these two men compete again in the near future.
Jim Ross Interviews The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page
Before I get to the other matches, I did want to set aside some time to quickly discuss the interview between Jim Ross, Kenny Omega, Hangman Page and the Young Bucks.
This was bad on so many levels. For starters, neither of these men seemed comfortable in the spot nor are they good enough actors to be able to sell the drama. Now, I’m not expecting an Academy Award performance from either of these men but at times it looked like Matt Jackson could barely keep himself from laughing during the segment. Worse, the sound didn’t even sync up to their lips which made it even more distracting. More importantly, this spot added nothing in terms of helping boost the anticipation leading into the event this coming Saturday. If anything, it made me less interested, and what I find strange is that someone actually watched this pre-recorded promo and decided it was a good idea to run it? If I had any say in how the company runs things, I would have recommended they exclude the spot and use that precious time for commercial breaks instead.
I realize that might sound harsh but it pales in comparison to the Jim Ross’ interview with Santana from a few weeks ago which did an amazing job in fleshing out Santana’s character, providing some backstory to his origin and relationship with his father while also setting up his match with Jon Moxley later in the night. That interview felt genuine. It was full of emotion and true to Santana’s character. This week’s interview felt like a farce— it was poorly written, poorly directed and tried way too hard to sell the drama between the four superstars.
Santana, Ortiz, & Sammy Guevara vs. Jurassic Express
This match featured some of my favourite AEW superstars in the ring at the same time, most notably Jungle Boy Jack Perry and Sammy Guevara— two men who I think will one day hoist the Heavy Weight Championship belt over their shoulders. Then there is, Santana and Ortiz, arguably one of the three best tag teams in AEW (maybe the best) and while I’d like to see them get a title shot in an upcoming pay-per-view, it’s great to see AEW at least have them continue to participate in a variety of matches. Two weeks ago, Santana fought Moxley in a singles match; last week they nearly won the Battle Royale, and this week they get to partner with Guevara in a three-on-three match.
The match also gave Luchasaurus plenty of moments to shine as he kicked, chopped, and choke slammed opponents inside and outside the ring. As much as I want to see Jungle Boy break away from tag team action and compete in more solo matches, it’s still great to see The Jurassic Express work exceptionally well as a team. Other highlights included the trilogy of superkicks on Guevara; a moonsault by Luchasaurus and the arrival of Darby Allen who provided a momentary distraction, allowing Jungle Boy to score the win.
Last week, I mentioned how I think Jungle Boy and MJF are the future of the company and as much as I like Marko Stunt, I must admit, he’s holding back Jack Perry from doing bigger and better things. At least, Luchasaurus continues to show promise while Darby Allin proves he’s the surprise hit!
Overall, this match was generally amusing and sometimes positively exhilarating.
The Other Two Matches
About halfway through the program, we were treated to a great video package promoting the match between Cody and MJF. Personally, I love these vignettes and I wish Dynamite would incorporate at least one of these video montages in every episode. Meanwhile, The Butcher & The Blade fought Best Friends and we got to see a four-way women’s match between Big Swole, Shanna, Hikaru Shida, and Yuka Sakazaki.
I don’t have much to add here other than Sakazaki has a great theme song (something I never noticed prior). Also, I still am not sold on the talents of The Butcher & The Blade, most notably The Butcher who seems out of shape and who is always a second or two off when timing the in-ring choreography.
At one point, Excalibur noted that The Butcher and The Blade were refocusing their efforts on dominating the tag team division. With so many great tag teams in the AEW, I am hoping this isn’t something the promotion plans on doing.
The highlight here is watching Orange “Freshly Squeezed” Cassidy and Bunny face-off in the middle of the ring. It’s crazy to think that Orange Cassidy hasn’t yet wrestled a match and yet he’s more popular than half of the AEW roster.
The Dark Order
AEW appears to be on the verge of finally revealing the identity of the so-called ‘Exalted One’ to the world, with last week’s Dynamite promising that the divisive group’s leader will soon be revealed. Tonight, we were given another promo for The Dark Order and with so much hype being built around the mystery man, AEW better make sure they don’t botch the big reveal. At this point, if it isn’t someone either already popular or a hot-and-upcoming wrestler, fans will be incredibly disappointed, especially since there have been many big names rumored over the last month, not to mention plenty of fan speculation.
The promotion’s digital marketing team has done a fantastic job in dropping all sorts of teases across numerous platforms this past week including the binary code seen above that reads, “JOIN DARK ORDER.”
A couple of interesting notes here.— Gary Cassidy (@consciousgary) February 25, 2020
This translates to “Join Dark Order”
More importantly, tweeted at 3:01am.
3/1… March 1st. The date Matt Hardy’s WWE contract apparently expires. https://t.co/K0MLy7oswf
Many fans believe Matt Hardy is joining AEW since his contract ends on March 1st which means he should theoretically be able to make an appearance as soon as next week. That said, AEW has found clever ways to include plenty of red herrings this past month including last week’s episode which featured a surprise cameo by Raven who was sitting in attendance watching the event— so while Matt Hardy seems like a safe bet, I wouldn’t put it past AEW to cast someone else in the role.
The Jericho vs. Moxley Weigh-In
Is the Jericho vs. Moxley Weigh-In the best segment of the night? The answer is yes!
Watching PAC and Omega battle it out during the iron man match, left me marveling at their ability to choreograph a long, intricate and entertaining wrestling match with no break in the action— but the Jericho/Moxley segment had tremendous energy, a ton of humour and an unbelievable amount of suspense building to the moment when Moxley loses his patience and proceeds to bust Jericho’s forehead wide open.
This segment also had plenty of other highlights including the announcers doing their best work in months with Jim Ross saying stuff like, “ the damn Dippin’ Dots didn’t do anything to deserve that,” while Jericho dished out plenty of insults towards the legendary announcer, Gary Michael Cappetta. It was a great way to close the show—a spectacularly silly spot in which all hell breaks loose both inside and outside the ring with the action even spilling throughout the arena. This entire segment did a great job in further teasing what you can expect from several of the big matches at Revolution while wisely keeping Moxley and Jericho at the center of things. I can’t think of a better way to end the night!
AEW Dynamite has been on fire as of late with the last three episodes delivering matches of such high quality, they could easily be booked in a pay-per-view. If you’re looking to have a wild time, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything better than AEW Dynamite on Wednesday nights (apologies to NXT). Where it sometimes lacks in plot, Dynamite compensates for with hearty laughs and truly spectacular action. In fact, AEW Dynamite features what are arguably the fastest, most furious and elaborate— and the most entertaining wrestling matches ever broadcast on cable TV. If your friend has never seen a wrestling show, this would be the one to recommend they start with.
- Ricky D
Next week: Lance Archer debuts!
Is it just me, or does Chris Jericho have the best entrance in the promotion? Not only does he have the best theme song, but every time he walks out to the ring, the crowd sings along in harmony to the tune.
Also, worth noting, I love the Inner Circle’s jumpsuits this week with the words “The Painmaker Posse” written on the back of the jackets.
Dynamite has consistently beaten WWE’s NXT show in the ratings each Wednesday and has had a headlock on the 18-49 demo.