Boy oh boy, it’s that time of the week again: hump day. Before I jump into Dynamite, I have a strong take to give because I’ve heard that NXT has some sh*t planned for tonight and as a result I expect AEW to step their game up a bit. All that is to say, this week and next do not mark the end of this current decade. We are not to the end of the 2010s yet until we get to 2020. The clock starts at one, not at zero, and as a result, everyone’s (including this very website’s) DECADE’S BEST LISTS are all bogus and don’t count. I mean, we can discuss the past decade but it’s as arbitrary as comparing 2008-2018.
I have a feeling that if people we thinking clearly that this coming year will have such an influence on everyone’s year because of one thing: the XFL. I hope to f*ck that it succeeds and takes Vince more and more out of the picture for WWE and then HHH takes over (get it?) more of Vince’s duties and brings the two main WWE brands back to the incredible television that they are capable of, especially with the rosters as stacked as they are. But realistically, WWE is going to continue to drop the ball in the coming year and if its people getting wellness violations to get out of contract or just WWE deciding that they are jobbers and won’t make a difference outside of the Universe (i.e. Tye Dillinger), people will leave that company and go elsewhere and get utilized in the way that Jericho and Mox have been.
I feel surprisingly optimistic about the future of wrestling and a lot of it hinges on WWE continuing to fail and eventually righting the ship. I hate that NXT doesn’t have its own platform and is being used as a pawn to f*ck with Cody and the Bucks, but also, f*ck ’em. Once AEW has gotten out its growing pains and we see what it truly is as a company I have a feeling that WWE/NXT are in for more competition than they could have imagined. I don’t want anything bad to happen to WWE, but I want the absolute best for AEW and if that means TROUNCING NXT in the ratings (ooph on that f*cking “brag”) and HHH looking like his brain child is a failure, then so it goes.
OK, well, now that I have finished my heel rant about how all the decade-end lists are not applicable yet and hence bullsh*t, let’s fire up some wrestling.
Dynamite opens with Lucha Bros and Kenny Omega and the f*cking Tobacco Farmer already in the ring? This is gonna be the opening match to combat the commercial free title match on NXT right now? OK, I’m not sold, primarily because I’m not into Page, but the commentators are already getting into how there is dissension in the ranks between Kenny and Mr. Cowboy Sh*t. The crowd likes chanting that because it’s a curse word, but I don’t believe that any of them actually support that sh*t heel. Kenny and Fenix start off and it’s as awesome as you would imagine. Penta tags in and Kenny turns and tags in Page and I just had a glimpse of me liking a total f*ckface heel Hangman and I don’t know how that makes me feel. The match was announced as having a 30 minute time limit and they sure are taking their time right now like they have minutes to give away. It’s a nice subtle wrinkle that Page repeatedly ignores the secret tag gesture. At one point Kenny throws himself over the top rope into the Lucha Bros and then he takes a quick jog up and down the entrance ramp. Ref Aubrey is very serious during the match; very little pantomime. Kenny seems gassed and suddenly the LBs launch right into the sh*t that they do so well in a two-on-one attack against Omega. These dudes are so f*cking sick . Kenny sneaks out of the corner at one point, doing a somersault into the tag for Page. Awesome. Page goes apesh*t and I’m feeling it until he does not one but two tope suicida dives and I hate how that has become an almost standard move for any wrestler of any size, like how the Superkick has become standard for virtually all wrestlers since Shawn Michaels.
Page and Kenny are selling like they have been in a gantlet match and Penta and Fenix are just running circles around them. Jim Ross just sincerely put this match over as “good wrestling.” It’s nice to hear an old timer enjoy a current product. This match just went into another gear as Kenny and Page take over again and just kick the sh*t out of the Bros like the stronger guys that they are. 15 minute warning. Holy sh*t man. As Kenny was about to suplex Penta, Page was trying to pull off a f*cking SICK Buckshot Lariat (Clothesline from Hell) from outside the apron over the top rope and he f*cking CREAMED Kenny. Omega takes the Lucha finisher and it’s over. Page comes in the ring looking sad it’s a bloody lip to apologize? Nope, these dudes are gonna go…Pac interrupts from the back with a mic! AWESOME. Pac is threatening to reveal how upset he is for Kenny not responding to his demand for a match….Pac walks into a dressing room where Nakazawa (Kenny’s BFF) is and closes the door. That interrupts Kenny and Page’s scuffle. Kenny runs backstage to find Nakazawa and he finds an empty room and then he is jumped by the LBs. Shortly thereafter, he’s rescued by his feuding pal, Hangman Page. During the commercial, the camera follows the two of them walking around backstage hunting for Pac I guess. The pic in pic is cool, though, when it’s showing Darby Allin skating around backstage.
The Butcher, The Blade, and The Bunny, aka BBB, aka Better Business Bureau vs. Cody and Darby is up now! I don’t want BBB to be a cult but I am very open to this trio and their potential. Darby Allin’s theme song is so very depressing Pacific Northwest grunge and I dig it. Cody raises from the smoke and his masturbation session for the week is complete. The crowd is so f*cking into this dude. Commentary tell us about how MJF is responsible for financing BBB which is good because that happened in a segment on Dark or something and I didn’t see that so I’m glad I know now. Unfortunately, between parenthood, work and carpentry related projects I don’t have as much time for AEW outside of Wednesday nights so it would appear that I am missing out on certain storylines because of that…I don’t know how I feel about that.
“The Bunny…we used to call her Allie, but we can’t do that anymore,” commentary says. “Once she got her haircut she went through a transformation.” Darby starts out against the Butcher and there is a half a foot and 100 lbs between the two of them, yet Darby still looks like a f*cking badass. This match is surprisingly captivating even though there really isn’t anything worth mentioning about it. The Bunny provides a distraction and Butcher and Blade capitalize like a well oiled tag team. Cody is taking most of the beating for the past 5-7 minutes which is building to Allin getting a hot tag. That will probably be a little tough to believe.
Darby gets the hot tag and actually does an impressive job of beating on the Blade but Butch sneaks a tag and as Darby hits a sick Canadian Destroyer into a pin, but he realized that he is pinning the non legal man. Butch comes in and picks up Darby and tosses him, then puts him into a painful looking Texas Cloverleaf. As he bends Darby like a pretzel, Cody kicks Butcher in the chest and he no sells, Cody kicks him again and Butch spits his mouthguard into Cody face. Wow. These guys throw the kitchen sink at each other, finishing with a Coffin Drop from the top to the hardest part of the ring right onto Butcher and and a Cody Cutter to Blade, and the match is over. Apparently Darby gets to have a rematch with Cody now because they won this match together.
They show a video package of Jungle Boy working out while playing audio of Jericho calling him a “piece of sh*t” and JR continuing to call him “Jungle” Jack Perry. As much as that is annoying me, I do understand that Jim Ross is definitely just trying to get that dude over by any means necessary, even though he seems obviously not into using his family name.
Back from commercial and Awesome Kong and Brandi Rhodes come out for a true squash match. Miranda Alize spends 32 seconds in the ring with Kong and it’s over. While Kong walked to the ring there was an inset promo with Brandi talking about the blah blah bullsh*t. She is waiting for an answer from Statlander. I wonder who the bald “man” is who hasn’t shown their face yet.
Backstage interview with JR and Jungle Boy sitting in the ring having a basic interview with each other and I f*cking HATE this. JR bringing up Luke Perry is making me jump out of my f*cking skin right now. I get it, but I don’t think he needs this and I don’t think it’s actually going to help. That interview just exposed him as being a baby BABY. I like the dude and was hoping for a 2-3 year build for that dude to be the MAN someday, but not now.
Well, anyways, here comes Le Champion with Big Hurt for this non title match with a ten minute limit. If Jungle Boy hangs for ten minutes, he gets…? Picture-in-picture during the commercial and Jericho calls for a mic and then Sammy G gets a full entrance and then he hops in the ring with cue cards to show the camera, sh*tting on the pic in pic and poking fun at TNT. That’s pretty meta and super f*ckimng AWESOME. Jungle Boy gets pyro for his entrance, coming to the ring with the rest of the Jungle Express. Jungle Jack is awesome as a mute, Mowgli type character but he just lost me with that interview with JR. Jungle Boy gets right into it with Jericho and goes for a pin almost immediately.
From some angles, aesthetically speaking, Jericho looks so f*cking tough and pretty badass. From ALL the other angles he looks like a washed up sack of sh*t old guy. That said, he is working a different style than ever before and it works for him being a stiff bruiser now. Jericho gets the upper hand on Jungle Baby and proceeds to punish him, pulling him up from pins he would have had. Perry gets tossed out the ring and as Hager lays hands on him I realize he still hasn’t gotten into it with anyone of substance yet and as Luchasausus comes to the rescue, the two of them start throwing fists. It’s f*cking exciting to think about Big Hurt vs. Luchasaurus in the eventual future! Marko Stunt goes to jump to Hager and he lands on his fist and lands flat like he is dead. Ref Aubrey ejects Hager and then Luchasaurus picks up Marko’s corpse and retreats to the back, leaving Jericho to continue to dismantle Jungle Boy. At the two minute warning it seems impossible for Jungle Jack Perry to do anything but lay down for a 3 count.
Jericho hits him with a powerbomb and then rolls him over into a deep Boston crab, and Jungle Boy climbs to the ropes but Jericho drags him to the middle of the ring and keeps the Walls on him for over a full minute and Jericho loses his mind when he realizes that Jungle Boy never tapped. Jericho demands five more minutes and he hops back into the ring and starts tossing around JB who does his flip out and back in the ring on the ropes thing and after two near falls Jericho gets clearly fed up and just says f*ck THIS, grabs his belt and storms up the ramp like a f*cking brat. Perry looks baffled but Jericho doesn’t give a f*ck. The pic-in-pic is stuck on JB’s family for a reaction shot as apparently Jericho is told to go back to the ring to finish the five more minute that he previously demanded. He grabs a chair and throws it in the ring then starts walking around the ring, flexing one bicep at fans who are flipping him. The crowd is visibly chanting “ASSH*LE” at him, but I think this match is over. Back from commercial and Ski-a-vone is on the ramp with a mic to talk to Jericho. Jericho and Tony go back and forth about Jungle Boy getting ten minutes on Jericho, but he yells Tony away and then brings up Mox and how he offered for him to join the Inner Circle last week. Jericho cut an ass-kissing promo on Mox, wishing him a Merry Christmas from the Inner Circle.
Kris Statlander vs. Britt Baker for the number one contendership for a match with Riho and I am trying to feel positive about this match but I don’t have it right now. Kris does little to nothing for me. I do not see or understand how she is an alien. At one point, Excalibur tries tp put over how Statlander does a “boop” to communicate with her opponents as her alien race does, and I just hate it. I don’t like her confused general look. She has tattoos like someone who likes thinks 2003 was the coolest time in history, gear that makes me think of Alexa Bliss but sh*tty, and the Egyptian eyes just to confuse the overall look. Britt Baker seems to either think she is doing a favor by being in AEW or she is just a charisma vacuum. I feel more bored by watching her look confused and disinterested during most of this match. Oh, I just saw some celestial looking shapes on her tights so I suppose THAT’S what makes her an alien
JR just made a point to call out Kris’s weight (163) and then describe a 50 lb disparity between these two (???). Now that he says that, I guess Baker looks small, but not like a total waif. JoinDarkOrder.com pops up on the bottom of the screen and the commentators call it out and are confused. JR calls Statlander one of the strongest women wrestlers he has ever seen…no. Ross again putting over a weight difference. KS pulls some muscling around and does a sort of impressive, sort of sloppy job of getting Britt into her finisher. Tony meets Statlander for post match interview who ‘boops’ Tony to communicate. I’m glad she isn’t talking because if/when she does I will probably hate it. Brandi comes out with an attitude and yells at Tony for her “goddamned” mic not being on and then sends him away and says she will take it from here. Brandi demands to know if Kris will join the Nightmare Collective, to which she responds with half a boop and then she wiggles her finger “no”. As she turns to walk away from Brandi, pleased with herself, Kong and the other lady walk out and as KS turns to walk away from them Brandi nails her with the heel of her shoe, which Statlander sells like a human being and not an alien. She stinks. I’m not into this at all unless she works for the Dark Order somehow.
Main event is SCU vs the Young Bucks for the Tag Team Titles. This will be a hit or miss match but it is already off to a good start with a killer promo to set up the Bucks and their trajectory this far in AEW. 60 minute time limit with 15 minutes of TV time remaining. Ref Rick Knox gets an intro for this match. Almost immediately this match goes right into hyperdrive and each of these teams are really good as actual teams, so they have such good chemistry and flair. There aren’t many minutes into this match before the Bucks are now both selling like they have been in a war and SCU start beating on them. I do really hate how the Bucks always seem to be wrestling injured or will become injured in a way that they previously weren’t mere minutes into a match that they will STILL do a million high spots during.
Uncle Nick does do a crazy series of bouncing on the second and top rope, even getting Scorpio Sky into the mix and pulling him onto he second rope just to jump and hit him with hurricanrana. This match is an absolute tag team wrestling clinic. SCU are spending most of their time focusing on Matt Jackson’s f*cked up arm from last week’s Texas Street Fight that earned them this title shot. I appreciate how Jim Ross cals out virtually every sh*t call or lack thereof from the refs.
So, before I know it and while I wasn’t really paying attention, SCU hits the SCU-Later and the match is over. Huh. As the match finishes the ring is surrounded by Creepers, the lights cut and the Dark Order enter from the top of the ramp. Evil Uno has a microphone and says how he would like to offer for them to join the Dark Order, but tonight is about initiation and sics the Creepers on the Bucks and SCU. Kenny comes down to help out and gets his ass beat, Cody and Dustin come out and they get f*cking wailed on. The Young Bucks are taking the most brutal beating of everyone in the ring. Alex Shelley and the other guy are now in the Dark Order. Uno reaches his hand into Matt Jackson’s bleeding mouth, pulls out his fingers covered in blood, sits on a throne of Creepers and leads a chant of “WE ARE ONE” as the show ends. Holy sh*t. F*ck yes.
Switching over to NXT and Rhea Ripley just took a DDT onto a chair and Full Sail is going f*cking NUTS for her right now. Man, this is definitely a match I’m going to watch later. I have never seen anyone fight the Kirifuda Clutch like Ripley is right now and I can’t believe this is the same woman from before! Jesus, this is such a crazy example of amazing wrestling performed by women rather than “women’s wrestling.” Holy f*ck, that finish was insane and I remember when Shayna won the title the first time, I remember when she lost it to Kairi Sane and then I recall when she won it back from her. I haven’t seen anything really beyond that but I believe her as a champ and a f*cking beast in the ring (even if she does sounds like Bobby Hill on the mic) but holy sh*t the last seven minutes of that match that I just saw was better than ANY women’s match I have seen on AEW in total.
That really just puts into perspective one of the things I have been deprived of throughout this experiment of dedicating the majority of my wrestling time to AEW rather than NXT. WWE has its amazing bits of women’s wrestling and wrestling performed by women for sure, but NXT is the gold standard for wrestling, characters and story (for the most part). AEW has been doing a good job of finding themselves and the story stuff is great a lot of the time but damn, I just got so invested in the end of a match where I missed everything prior. I was on the edge of my seat till the end and even got a pit in my stomach when I thought Ripley was out from submission….but when she grabbed that ref’s shirt, my stomach dropped. That’s incredible sh*t, man. That is the type of moment why I watch professional wrestling as a grown ass man. The end of that match was more exciting than that entire episode of Dynamite. I almost don’t remember anything that I just watched compared to that. Damn. Good Job, Rhea. Congrats.
Wrestling Rules. F*ck The World. Party Hard.
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