Mon, Jan 20, 2020

The second AEW Dynamite episode of 2020 finally paid off an angle that was a few weeks in the making on TNT. Jon Moxley was presented a pretty lucrative offer by Chris Jericho to join the Inner Circle faction, and this week everyone was anticipating the answer from the now two-time IWGP United States champion. That was what closed the edition of an uncharacteristically uneven episode of AEW Dynamite from Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi.

Let’s take a look now at how everything went down on this week’s Dynamite.

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Jon Moxley answers Chris Jericho

After Moxley refused to give Jericho an answer about joining The Inner Circle last week on the first Dynamite of the year, he promised to give one on this show. Moxley named all the things Jericho had offered and said he wanted none of it. “I didn’t come to AEW because someone backed up a dump truck full of cash to my house,” Moxley said. “I can’t be bought. I came to AEW to dominate. And that is why … I say yes.” Moxley then took off his leather jacket to reveal an Inner Circle shirt. Moxley said there is no more dominant force than The Inner Circle, and he wants to dominate. He also said he believes Jericho is the greatest of all time and he will now surround himself with greatness. After asking for Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager to pop open “a little bit of the bubbly,” Moxley celebrated with the group before giving the camera a wink, leaving an immediate level of ambiguity to the seriousness of his acceptance. Moxley did, however, ask for the keys to the Ford GT he was offered last week as the crowd chanted “You sold out.”

Moxley then pulled the expected swerve when he was left in the ring alone with Jericho, saying he was just kidding and called The Inner Circle a “stupid group.” Moxley said the only thing Jericho has that he wants is the belt, then smashed a bottle on Jericho’s head before hitting the Paradigm Shift. Guevara ran back and ate a Paradigm Shift of his own before Moxley ran off through the crowd.

The celebration portion of this went a bit long, and it seemed fairly obvious Moxley was being over the top about his enthusiasm for the situation. But the whole thing served as a way to build up a big feud for the promotion, which is never a bad thing. A good portion of the rest of the night stumbled in the storytelling department, so it was good to go out on a high note with Moxley laying Jericho out with some trademark violence. Grade: B+

What else happened on AEW Dynamite?

  • Kenny Omega & Adam “Hangman” Page def. Private Party via pinfall after Omega hit Marq Quen with the One-Winged Angel. There were a few more signs of the breaking down of Page’s positioning in The Elite during the match with Omega and Page mostly operating well together but occasionally clashing throughout this solid show-opening match. Following the finish, PAC was shown backstage with the Brutalizer locked in on Michael Nakazawa, then he demanded his rubber match with Omega. Page waived Omega to the back and then drank beer with fans in the crowd. Grade: B
  • AEW Women’s Championship — Riho (c) def. Kris Statlander via pinfall after a rollup to retain the title. Brandi Rhodes was on commentary when The Nightmare Collective came to ringside. They immediately attacked Riho but Statlander attacked them in return. When Rhodes made her way to ringside, Statlander was about to punch her but Japanese deathmatch wrestler Dr. Luther came out from under the ring and stopped her. The match ended when Awesome Kong helped trip Statlander to allow Riho to score a pin. Kong hit Statlander with a clothesline after the match. Riho failed to make the save before Hiraku Shida, who was seated in a ringside seat next to Britt Baker, jumped the rail to chase them off. There was a whole lot happening here, but that was largely a detriment to the match itself. Grade: C-
  • Sammy Guevara def. Christopher Daniels via pinfall after Daniels was distracted by Pentagon Jr. daring him to hit an Arabian moonsault. After the match, Dark Order came to the ring to confront Daniels. Evil Uno said the AEW faithful have no faith in him anymore. Uno said he could make Daniels the man he once was and offered him a mask. Daniels threw the mask down, leading to the group to attack him before Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian and The Young Bucks ran in to take out Dark Order. Grade: C
  • Cody & Dustin Rhodes def. The Lucha Bros via pinfall when Rhodes hit Rey Fenix with The Final Reckoning. This was a very good tag match featuring four high-level talents. Cody had head coach Arn Anderson at ringside again. Following the match, Cody was asked about MJF’s stipulations set out last week. Anderson answered for Cody, saying he doesn’t know why MJF thought he had the stroke to make demands. Anderson said he would talk to Cody this week and they’d think about it — similar to last week’s failure by Moxley to answer Jericho’s request to join The Inner Circle by pushing it off a week. Grade: B-
  • MJF cut an in-ring promo where he said he would only give Cody until the count of 10 to come out and face him like a man. He then counted down from 10 and said Cody was “just a little b—h” before Diamond Dallas Page’s music hit. DDP insulted MJF before saying he keeps getting asked if he’ll come back for one more match. It’s worth noting MJF was live tweeting during DDP’s rant. MJF interrupted DDP before saying he didn’t want to fight him but Butcher and The Blade might, leading the tag team to walk to the ring. DDP grabbed MJF by the throat before hitting a Diamond Cutter on both Butcher and Blade. Before he could lay out MJF, he was caught with a low blow. QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes ran in for the save with no sign of Cody.
  • Jurassic Express def. Best Friends & Orange Cassidy via pinfall when Jungle Boy pinned Chuck Taylor with a rana. There was a huge pop for everything Cassidy did in the match. Everyone involved hit their respective high spots before Jungle Boy got his first pinfall win in AEW. The trio face Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz in two weeks. Grade: B
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