Hey, everyone! After last week’s edition of AEW Dynamite tallied up the highest-rated episode this year (7.5 out of 10.0, in my opinion), I am excited for the latest edition.
I have been more preoccupied than ever over the last month, doing my normal 9-5 job (which is actually 10-7), running the day-to-day’s on Readers Digested, working on new crime novel, and, more recently, working on an upcoming videogame website called Die. Die. Retry. that I hope you will all be able to enjoy in a couple weeks (seriously excited about it)!
That said, although I did not mark the new year off with any outright, declarative goals, if I did, I would say that my goal for this year would be able to etch out more time for the smaller things that I have missed out on as of late. Professional wrestling is one of those things! Thanks for checking up on The Gray Fox blog, and I hope you and I both enjoy AEW Beach Break!
AEW: Dynamite (2/3/21)
Tag Team Battle Royal for a shot at the AEW Tag Titles at AEW Revolution
Sometimes I am not always onboard with All Elite Wrestling and their infatuation with multi-man contests, mostly because I find the matches tend to feel like an expression of athleticism and choreography more than the dramatic, story-driven fare you can more often find in a singles or straightforward tag team bout. It is not that I hate that expression of athleticism and choreography, but that I think there needs to be more of a balance to it.
This battle royal was an ideal example of how to do a largescale contest, at least, in the interim. I was able to follow along with certain characters better, like Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy, who gained a fan in me last week after Jungle Boy’s match with Dash. Of course, however, the main storyline at play was the narrative surrounding The Inner Circle. The contest was difficult to follow along with at times, but I was entertained in spite of that.
I went into this match expecting that Chris Jericho and MJF would more than likely walk away victorious, but I was more interested with how they would do it and how they would continue to develop the tension between Sammy and MJF.
I was not disappointed in that regard, and I like that MJF and Chris Jericho are challenging against The Young Bucks. What happens now? Do The Young Bucks lose the Tag Team Championships to free their hands for the storyline with Kenny Omega, or will The Inner Circle’s possible implosion destroy their aspirations for gold? I look forward to it (0-1-0-0-0).
Sting and Darby Allen came to the ring, but were interrupted by Tazz on the big screen. Tazz explained that he and his crewmembers were barred from the arena for attacking staff last week, but that they would be in full force on next week’s Dynamite, which would see Darby defend his TNT Championship against Joey Janela. Ricky Starks took the microphone and said that when he looks Sting in the eyes, he does not see The Icon anymore. Sting replied that he needs to take a closer look then.
The segment was short and straightforward, and thus, I am left with not a lot to say about it. I like the rivalry and everything involved, and I appreciate that the segment itself was more about keeping it fresh in our mind than anything else. I appreciate that they have not forgotten about the TNT Championship in the mean time as well (0-1-1-0-0).
Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa
After a competitive match that went for about thirteen minutes, Britt Baker was able to score a submission victory over Thunder Rosa. The finish came after Britt’s protégé Reba exposed the middle turnbuckle, which Britt Baker weaponized before locking in her Lockjaw submission.
I was not invested in the build for Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa’s match, per se, but I was impressed with this eventual match that arose from it. Britt Baker finds some necessary heat and Thunder Rosa looks sympathetic in defeat. I will be more invested in the rematch than I was for this contest, which I would call a victory. I look forward to the upcoming women’s tournament and hope this week can be marked as a turn to form for their division (0-2-1-0-0).
Adam Page & Matt Hardy vs. Serpentico & Luther
The contest was short with about an even back and forth shared amongst each of them. The finish came after Adam Page downed Serpentico with the Buckshot Lariat, only for Matt Hardy to tag himself in and score the pin for his team. Although Adam was reluctant at first, he raised Matt’s hand and celebrated their victory afterward.
This was a match that was meant to serve one purpose and one purpose alone, continue developing the storyline between Matt Hardy and Adam Page. Regardless, I am interested in seeing how it develops, and whether Matt and Adam find themselves on the same, ahem, page, or if it leads to a feud between them (0-3-1-0-0).
The segment was a wedding ceremony between Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford. As you would expect, Miro and their butler Charles (Chuck Taylor) both were present and accounted for. Something longtime wrestling fans might get a kick out of is that the “Sinister Minister” James Mitchell arose from the abyss and officiated. The segment saw Miro make several jabs at Chuck Taylor, and attack a present that Chuck claimed he brought for them (it was empty). Chuck eventually turned the tables on them, handcuffing Miro to the ropes, attacking Chuck Taylor, and inadvertently knocking Penelope into her wedding cake to end it.
I thoroughly disliked this segment. I thoroughly dislike wedding ceremonies in professional wrestling, and I thoroughly dislike everything happening in this feud. It does not help that this wedding ceremony, in-particular, was among one of the most humdrum and dull I have seen, with no build to why anyone should care about it whatsoever (0-3-1-0-1).
Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston in a Lumberjack Match
I enjoyed seeing Lancer Archer and Eddie Kingston in last week’s edition of AEW Dynamite, but this particular match did nothing for me, personally. After the shenanigans of the earlier segment, I was left with a bad taste in my mouth that I feel may have made me less forgiving for the shenanigans and nonsense of this bout. I would have much preferred a Street Fight, stiff contest with both these men, rather than what we received instead. Lance Archer redeems his loss against Eddie Kingston from last week (from shady means) by defeating Kingston (with shady means). I assume there will be a rubber match shortly, which will, hopefully, give me what I want (0-3-1-1-1).
Jon Moxley, Pac, and Ray Fenix vs. Kenny Omega, Gallows, and Anderson
The match ended with The Good Brothers hitting the Magic Killer on Ray Fenix, and then, Gallows pinning him for the match’s end. Afterwards, a brawl ensued, that saw Lance Archer make the save and attack The Good Brothers. Once Moxley and Omega were alone in the ring, a masked man came in and attacked them both. When he removed his mask, it was revealed to be KENTA from New Japan Pro Wrestling, who will be challenging Moxley for his IWGP United States Championship soon.
The match itself was fine, but it brings back what I said earlier about the Archer and Kingston matchup, but the shenanigans and bad taste really ruined the broth, so to speak. I wanted to like this match and it was definitely a good display of athleticism and ability, but I feel like I could never become invested in it (0-4-1-1-1).
This was a Crash TV style edition of AEW Dynamite and I was not really here for it at all. I liked some of what happened early on, but, after the awful wedding segment, I feel like too damaged was done to salvage the episode altogether. I like a lot of what AEW does, but they need to figure out how to rein in some of the worst impulses. I would grade this edition of AEW Dynamite a 5.5 out of 10, making it the worst reviewed edition I have done this year so far, compared to last week’s high of 7.5.
As for KENTA’s involvement in Dynamite, that’s really cool and I hope New Japan and AEW are able to do some actual business with each other, instead of what may be a one-off altogether. I believe it is best for business both for New Japan and All Elite that they are able to put aside egos and pride, and any other difference they may have, in-order to align, at least for the short term. Wrestling needs more eyeballs and I think the best way to bring them is by building some real momentum.
Thanks for joining me on this edition of AEW Dynamite and I will see you next week!