Howdy doody. I gotta say I’ve been on wrestling high alert this past week. The Royal Rumble happened a few days ago, and it was by far the most entertaining Rumble I have seen since I started watching again in 2010 and, as a whole, was an excellent PPV, not even just by WWE standards. Whilst I was taking in all things Rumble, I did find time to watch BTE and this actually makes the second week in a row that I have watched it…and you know why? Because THAT is where the Hangman Page story is unfolding. I can’t f*cking believe how interested I am in that guy. This most recent episode ended with a heavy implication that he is being courted, almost like he will be kidnapped or just brainwashed by the Dark Order. That really has an opportunity to be incredible, or it could be the drizzling sh*ts just as easily. Anywho, at this point in my week, Hangman Adam Page is the character I am most excited to see progress on this week’s episode of Dynamite.
I am also very curious about NXT and absolutely WILL be switching over at whatever points I can, mostly to see if Charlotte will actually be there to challenge Rhea as is internet rumor as well as to see if the heat magnet Bro will end up with a tag title. Speaking of Matt Riddle, not only did we PTW dudes do our normal Rumble pool (everyone threw in $10 and whoever drew the winning Rumble number took all the $$) but we did an additional pool where, based on a random number generator, I believe eight of us agreed to get tattoos based on whoever was that entry number, men’s OR women’s Rumble. My two choices: Natalya or Matt Riddle. So, I’m likely going to end up having a lit joint with the smoke spelling out “bro” as my tribute to Matt f*cking Riddle. It will actually be a PTW tattoo, just Matt Riddle themed. OK, on THAT note, let’s dig this f*cking episode of Dynamite.
Man, as if AEW was reading my mind, they start this week’s episode with a recap of Hangman winning the titles for him and Kenneth. That is just what I wanted to see!
Mox comes through the crowd, complete with full blown eye patch and even a cute new hair cut. The crowd is hot as f*ck for Moxley, who really knows how to work them. He puts Jericho over and then tears him apart, making some veiled references to sh*t Y2J did in the “other company”. F*ck, man, almost especially with only one eye, this dude is intense as f*ck. “The Maestro of Mayhem” (I hope that one doesn’t stick, JR) calls for Jericho to take his beating like a man and suggests they do this thing now, tonight, instead of at the PPV. Jericho comes out, wearing a headband like my daughter would wear, and production totally tries to duplicate the moment from last week when the crowd sung “Judas” to Jericho with such passion and this week they petered out, to which he replied “typical stupid Cleveland”. Good grief, Jericho just eluded to hitting on Moxley’s mom backstage. “I might call her later”. Holy sh*t, the best part about this whole segment is the reveal that the Inner Circle officially has a theme song that has a deep voice saying “The Inner Circle” to start the song. It almost reminds me of SHOCK THE SYSTEM and, while the song is nowhere as good as the Undisputed Era theme, I love it.
PnP, Big Hurt, and Sammy G come out and Jericho offers to kick the sh*t out of Mox, who does some crowd work before agreeing. Then, before it begins, Jericho calls out five more jobbers in Inner Circle merch, to which Moxley responds by just attacking them all like it’s nothing. This dude might be an idiot, but Jericho looks like such a douchebag that it works for me. The fact that Mox has a legitimate eye bandage make the whole thing even more real, too. I gotta see NXT real quick. I just caught the end of the Broserweights promo. Man, I’ll probably start watching NXT again once the Dusty Classic is finished, which is tonight.
MJF video package showing MFJ delivering an envelope with “YOUNG BUCKS” written in black to The Bunny while the Butcher and The Blade are literally cutting meat. Yeah. And then they transform into their gimmicks and accept their mission? OK, I’m still into this one for some reason. MJF’s music hits and BBB come out, followed by MJF and Wardlow. Cut to commercial (as per usual) while MJF generates heat, at one point tearing a $50 in half and delicately slapping an audience member in the face. Matthew Jacob Friedman (nice one, JR) joins the commentary team as the Bucks come out. Kind of funny how hard MJF puts over the fact that Bucks tossing him in the pool was attempted murder because he can’t swim.
I like this matchup very much because I haven’t seen sh*t out of Blade Trinity and Butchie but the Young Bucks could clearly wrestle a pair of broomsticks and have a sick match so this should be a showcase for the Better Business Bureau. It took about five minutes before the Bucks start wrestling from underneath. I really like the way that BBB looks as a trio for whatever reason. This week it’s Uncle Nicky’s turn to get his ass handed to him for the bulk of the match. Sweet baby Matt gets the hot tag after the commercial break. A couple of spots later they hit the Meltzer driver and get the win on Blade. MJF cracks a line about Nick’s receding hairline, which I think is such a f*cking prick move on his part. Butcher comes back in and beats on the Bucks after the win and that gets broken up by Kenny, followed by Adam, wearing one of the worst shirts, as he is halfway through a beer. Page has Matt hold his beer, nails a Buckshot on Blade, chugs the remainder of his beer and then bounces. Right on, brother.
Oh, cool, next match is Big Swole vs. Nyla. I hope that this is not just a squash for Nyla, because Swole is f*cking cool as sh*t. The match starts off pretty cool with Swole hitting lots of strikes and believably lights up Nyla, leaving her looking confused. It’s while I’m typing that that Nyla crushes Swole with a clothesline and now it’s just a lopsided pummeling. After a normal, non-PiP commercial JR tells its for the fifth time that Cleveland is the home of the Vikings(?). That doesn’t sound right. Well, there really isn’t that much to say about this match, Big Swole is good, but Nyla hits a sh*tty spear and then a so-so sitout powerbomb for the win. I hate the thing that Nyla does of licking her hand and then sticking it in the air. I don’t like it. Whatever. I can’t say I’m a big fan of Nyla Rose, and I want to be.
Kip Sabians’ song f*cking sucks but it’s hardly the worst in AEW. Penelope Ford is very hot for sure, but Kippers looks like Marty Scurll’s little bro. Cody gets “full release” this week, this time bringing Arn up from the Upside Down, which to me really kills the whole “cool” look of it. These guys are really leaning into Arn as the “head coach of the Nightmare Family,” which is stupid, and Arn keeps covering his face when he talks to Cody like he is Bill Bellichick or some sh*t. That kind of sh*t distracts Cody and Kipster starts out wailing on him.
I like how aggressive Kip is. He works over Cody for a while when suddenly, Penelope takes a “bump” and Cody gets distracted and has a crisis of conscience, as any babyface would in this situation. He picks her up like a true gentleman and as he turns around Kip kicks him right in the f*cking face, then leading to the gratuitous PDA spot with Kip and Penelope making out. At one point, Penelope Ford throws her Doc Marten at Cody to break up a pin attempt, Arn collects the shoe, brings it into the ting for the ref to see, who tells Arn to take it easy, who then, for no real reason, gets in the ref’s face, chest bumps him and, for the first time in AEW history, Arn gets ejected from ringside! Kip capitalizes on Cody being distracted by Arn’s ejection and as Kip and Ford go to smooch again in celebration, the Bad Boy Joey J (Penelope’s ex BF) puts his face in between their lips, smiling like a f*cking lunatic. Cody effectively toys with Kip for a few more moments before he hits him with three, nasty, consecutive Cross Rhodes for the pin and the win. This dude is f*cking fired up. Dynamite goes to PiP commercial and Cody proceeds to just go into the crowd and take selfies with everyone in the crowd, desperately trying to avoid the dickhead in a luchador mask with a f*cking MAGA hat on.
Apparently Tony Schiavone and Britt Baker are gonna have a second go at it, as Tony is at the top of the ramp waiting for DMD Baker to join him. I wonder if I would like her more if she was a drunk like Hangman…whoa, Britt takes the mic from Tony again, and starts cutting a promo on JR for cutting her off last week. She is going off on JR, calling him a sloppy BBQ salesman who can’t even get the names of the wrestlers straight. Geez, she is really leaning into this sh*t. I think the crowd is f*cking furious at her. She makes some reference to being a “Baker that Cleveland can count on”. I don’t get it. Backstage promo with the Bucks and Kenny and haha, they call them the Dork Order. Another heavy handed appearance by heel/drunk Hangman and it might already be wearing thin on me, but he does totally heel on them and I’m still down. Kenny alludes to a tag match next week with himself, Adam and the Bucks of Youth vs BBB and another team (later announced as Lucha Bros) and that’s supposed to be exciting. That’s very WWE to book a variation on the same match over and over again as well as to have the same few dudes on the top of the card while not developing more teams for them to fight later. Whatever.
SCU comes to the ring decked out in Kobe Bryant gear, and while in PiP mode Daniels clearly cuts a heartfelt promo to the crowd. I clicked over to NXT real quick and it was the end of a Dakota Kai match but I’m actually looking forward to the other channel a lot right now. Back from commercial and out comes Monster Energy’s Motocross team, Jack Evans and Angelico. These dudes look like dipsh*ts but they are rad wrestlers, so this should be a hell of a match. Excalibur made a reference to Angelico being a great soccer player in regards to a kick to Scorpio Sky’s face that he called a “penalty kick.” These really are two good tag teams. There are lots of thoughtful team spots but really nothing of note. SCU eventually hit the SCU-Later; I’m pretty sure Kaz was legal, but Scorp got the pin. Dark Order interrupts and calls out Daniels, but not before Jim Ross spoils that they were about to interrupt via TitanTron. Pretty short thing. I don’t know.
Black and white video showing Pac as apparently a horror film monster and he cuts a nasty promo on Moxley and then Kenny Omega, at one point referring to him as “Ken”. I like that a lot. It would appear that AEW is really good at making artsy video packages for certain wrestlers, mostly Darby Allin and Pac.
Main event time and I am most looking forward to Santana and Ortiz. Private Party are out first and these dudes still haven’t connected with me but I appreciate their work every time I see them. Darby skates down to the ring. Santana and Ortiz come down to the ring, followed by Judas himself, The Reverend of Reinvention. Ref Aubrey is in charge for the main event tonight and Ortiz is visibly trying to make her laugh before the match starts.
Darby and Jericho start and I don’t know if it’s just Jericho looking slow and older, but Darby looks so f*cking fast and precise and fluid. He really is a pleasure to watch move around. This is a totally spastic and high energy match — so many great tandem/tag spots. Jericho is so good at being a chickensh*t heel, crawling on his knees to get away from Darby at one point early in the match. Midway through the match, during a PiP commercial break, Ortiz does the spot where he sets Kassidy up for a suplex, then Santana tags himself in and then takes Kassidy, then Jericho tags himself in and takes Kassidy. I haven’t seen that go through three people before, but that is an impressive spot, obviously mostly impressive by the person who is taking the suplex. After ten minutes of Kassidy getting his ass kicked, Darby gets the hot tag and goes ballistic on everyone. Darby hits a Coffin Drop on Hager outside of the ring and Kassidy takes advantage of Jericho being left unattended, hitting a sick senton, but obviously succumbing to a quick Judas Effect, selling it with a twitching hand as ref Aubrey counts 3. As the Inner Circle celebrates outside the ring, they decide to go back in the ring and beat the sh*t out of Darby and Private Party. A couple of moments and a few nasty moments between Darby and his own skateboard later and Mox comes out with a bat, seeming like he barely can find his way to the ring, and then he clears the Inner Circle and this week is over.
Well, I’ll tell you, the biggest takeaway from this week is that Darby is f*cking OVER. I am well aware that I am craving wrestling and have been giving a pass to AEW for a bunch of sh*t as they work through growing pains. That all said, I was a WWF guy and only went to WCW when the nWo really got going. I liked some guys on it before nWo but really got into it during that time, so I don’t have as much nostalgia and honestly I have less patience for this product as it follows the more WCW route. I’m not trying to seem grumpy or annoyed about it, just self aware of where I stand. I found tonight’s episode to be generally fine but partially missable and it seems next week will be much of the same. It’s just a matter of time before I start watching NXT live and catch AEW on a delay, counter to the current trend for viewership for both shows. Well, I’ve had enough for tonight so, as always, I’ll leave you with:
Wrestling rules. F*ck the world. Party hard.
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