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AEW Dynamite recap: February 19, 2020

Cody vs. Wardlow in a steel cage!

It’s Friday night and I’m feeling alright! I’m a few nights late on watching Dynamite. This is only the third episode of Dynamite I haven’t watched live as it airs — this week was because there was a much better wrestling show on MSNBC where Mike Bloomberg squared off against the rest of the Democratic nominees for a debate and (spoiler alert) they all mopped the floor with his ass! When Elizabeth Warren came out right away by quoting him as calling women “Horse-faced lesbians” I knew I had made the right decision for my evening’s viewing. However, the PTW Slack chat told me otherwise. Also, the internet, which I have been trying to avoid, has indicated that Cody did something very noteworthy regarding the steel cage match with Wardlow. I couldn’t watch Dynamite last night as it was Brown Laser’s rehearsal so here I am, just as SmackDown is going live, about to watch AEW Dynamite on DVR. I have my snacks so let’s see what all the hubbub was about!

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly wrestling podcast, PTW!

Oh, one more thing before I get started, the biggest thing I have been following outside of AEW has been Matt Hardy’s Free The Delete videos, and I just watched another one that just came out with Matt sitting is a “Chair of Wheels” recounting the damage that he took from Randy Orton when he changes into Broken Matt, thanks Randy for killing the Hardy Boyz version of his vessel, and makes reference to something happening next week. I’ll tell you, if/when he just ends up re-signing with WWE I will be as disappointed as ever.

Dynamite starts out with Justin Roberts on the top of the ramp, explaining the rules of the Tag Team elimination battle royal and well, here we go. Both members of the team must have both feet hit the ground for them to be eliminated. Let’s see who I can identify: BBB, Buckos, Private Party, BFs, Jurassic Express, SCU, Jack Evans and Angelico, and a pair of wrestlers who I don’t recognize…Cima? They will tell me, I guess. Jack Evans is the first eliminated by the entire group. (T-Hawk is the other dudes name?) Oh, out of nowhere the jobbers from the Dark Order appear in the ring, then the clean-cut representative dude who is in all the vignettes starts speaking from ringside on mic asking SCU “Where is Daniels?” as SCU gets eliminated, followed by Dark Order jobbers turning around into super kicks from the Bucks of Youth. SCU and Dark Order fight off into the back and Jurassic Express hit a ton of tandem moves….this match is a total clusterf*ck of awesome and too much to even try to describe.

At one point, Butcher and Luchasaurus get into a chop-off and they kick the f*ck out of each other but finish the whole exchange with a really weak clothesline from Butch on Luchasaurus. It happened earlier but I had wondered if Proud n Powerful was in this match, and they seem to have waited till some dust settled before even entering the match which I think is super smart. Blade tries to eliminate Trent and Orange Cassidy shows up just in time to catch Trent on his shoulders. Matt Jackson is the only Bucko left and after he and Trent took out all the heels, they did the Best Friends hug spot and that was cute. The match ends up with Matt Jackson vs Santana and Ortiz left in the ring and I am very much rooting for him. Hot damn, after a good bunch of moments of peril, Matt superkicks Ortiz out of the ring, then Santana, THEN Sammy jumps in the ring from the top rope right into a superkick and Matt tosses Santana out and the Young Bucks are the no 1 contenders! Picture in picture shows off the Bucks celebrating and then it cuts to Wardlow getting hyped up by MJF and I already f*cking hate his gear. That stinks.

Oh cool, up next is Shanna vs Kris Statlander, and it would appear that we get the pleasure of Britt Baker on commentary. I am charmed. Britt immediately starts heeling on Tony while being respectful to the other two. Man, I could see KS being cool with a different gimmick. “Somebody please explain to me this ‘Space Galaxy’ thing of Statlander,” says JR. Tony and Britt have no idea, and, right on cue, Excalibur starts explaining how “Statlander claims to have landed on a spaceship in Area 51…” and JR quickly cuts him off “OK, that’s enough of that” “Hey, you asked, man.” They seem to have a bit of a wrestling match going on here but next thing I know Shanna and Kris are having a BOOP-off (almost like when Orange Cassidy did his chop-off with Chris Daniels) and I want to barf.

As they cut to commercial JR says “We’ll have more and hopefully a quick conclusion after the commercial”. Shanna is fine but she has nothing really noteworthy about her. That said, Shanna just tied Statlander up in the Tree of Woe and then nailed her with a Coup de Gras and wowee! So, it turns out Baker on commentary is a bust. She is good when she talks but she barely says anything virtually the whole time. Statlander ends up getting Shanna in her weird Styles Clash Piledriver thing (which looks cool as hell) for the win. Meh. Unfortunately Britt Baker on commentary was the best part of that match for me.

Back from commercial and we get Tony on the ramp introducing the new AEW Women’s World Champion, Nyla Rose. That belt looks f*cking idiotic. It’s so f*cking small. The interview starts off with Nyla sh*tting on the crowd for not heralding her more. Nyla is basically cutting a variation on Britt Baker’s promo from a few weeks ago about how she should be highest paid, face of the company, etc. Holy f*ck, as Nyla ramps up and is screaming, I am actually a little uncomfortable/frightened. Oh I like the claim “I will be a ONE TIME champion because there is no one out there like me, there is no one who can beat me” and out walks Statlander, who BOOPS the title belt. Out comes Big Swole followed by officials who break up any chance of anything fun happening. Ah well. I’ll be stoked to watch Nyla destroy Statlander.

Mox vs Cobb is up next and I’m looking forward to seeing my first Jeff Cobb match. Apparently we get Taz on commentary just for this match so that’s cool. Moxley’s new shirt is f*cking awesome and I want one. Jeff Cobbs AEW music blows. Just as Cobb is about to hit the ring Jericho’s music hits and I’m just having one of those moments where I’m overwhelmed with love for pro wrestling. Jericho and Sammy have their tickets and head ringside to watch this match up close and likely to interfere. Right away Mox takes a huge German Suplex from Cobb and that’s the tone of this match. In the first eight minutes Mox gets almost no offense in, at one point getting dumped into the front row only to be slapped on the front of his body by Jericho’s title belt. Good grief. Moxley finally gets a little bit of an upper hand, working on Cobb’s knee, but it almost doesn’t matter because Cobb is back on the offense, kicking the f*ck out of Mox.

Multiple times Cobb almost hits his move but then Cobb pulls Moxley up onto the turnbuckle for a top rope suplex to which Mox counters into a rollup for the win. As soon as Mox’s music hits, Jericho is in the ring with Sammy and Jake Hager kicking the sh*t out of him. Then, the worst music in AEW hits and Dustin flies down to the ring and mixes it up with the Inner Circle (I hate him and Hager touching before their match) and then, the lights go out, then it gets darker and Darby’s music hits and the crowd about melts down! So awesome! The dude skates to the ring and proceeds to use his skateboard on EVERYONE and the odds are evened. After the ring is cleared and it cuts to picture-in-picture for commercial, Darby cops Sammy’s cue card spot: “Sammy…In 10 days in Chicago…Feb 29 at Revolution…You’re finished….Inner Circle is finished…Mox will take the title…but I will take so much more… your voice… your livelihood…at Revolution, I promise I’ll HIT YOU UP” EXCELLENT!! This dude rules. It is worth noting that Moxley has been wrestling some of the best/most interesting matches of his career with an eye patch on. Week after week. Kayfabe is a brute and this guy is living it.

Lucha Bros vs Kenny and Hangman is up next and I kinda hope that Lucha Bros just win the titles so I don’t have to see the Elite vs Ken and Adam. I just realized that I never really paid attention to Hangman’s theme prior to tonight but I’m into it. Dude rules. He means so much business tonight and clearly his business involves clotheslines, winning sh*t and chugging beers. As much as I feel like I wanna see Kenny have a solo run at the top, I believe that this tag team has really done a lot for both of them, almost more for Kenny for me. Actually, thats not true because I’ve never disliked Kenny and I f*cking HATED Page like three months ago and I love that dude now.

Before the match even gets going the crowd is chanting “COWBOY SH*T and I would say that this dude is OVER like ROVER. Fenix and Page start the match off and right away I’m reminded of how awesome the Lucha Bros are and I wonder why the f*ck they weren’t the first champs…? Ken and Adam have some really neat tag team combination moves that look so good and they do pretty well but the Lucha Bros do stuff that looks so nasty and sounds so painful that I can’t possibly believe that any of it is a work. Tony, JR, and Ex all take a brief detour on the commentary to make mention of how there is supposed to be a 10 count after a tag is made for the other teammate to clear the ring. As Rey and Penta hit their 15th tandem move on Kenny in a row, Excalibur mentions how this is the longest 10 seconds of the Lucha Bros’ career and it’s all just kinda funny and very absurd.

Kenny has been selling his left leg as having a sore muscle or something for the bulk of this match and after getting some offense in on Penta he grabbed the wrong leg for a second before tagging in Page who lays a clobbering on Pantagon. Fenix hit a Canadian destroyer on Kenny after jumping over Page’s back after Page laid out Penta. These f*cking Lucha Bros just did so much sh*t I can’t even begin to describe but suffice to say, these guys are the best team in AEW. Kenny eats an accidental almost Buckshot Lariat, and after eating a tandem move from the Luchas, it seems like that was it but he kicked out. Kenny proceeds to hit many moves on Fenix, leading to another amazing near fall but Page tags himself in and he and Kenny hit the V Trigger Buckshot and thats a wrap. Bucks come to the ring to kinda celebrate, and they get weird and sort of possessive over Kenny, kinda pulling him physically away from celebrating with Page. The Young Bucks are becoming annoying to me. Page hops out of the ring and starts chugging beers. Now, these beers don’t seem planted. The second one he grabs is mostly empty and then I start thinking about the backwash and now not only do I slightly respect him more but I also want to f*cking throw up. I feel like I relate to Hangman and his heavy heart. He seems like a real hot head and he likes to party and damn it, I know what that’s like.

The vignette setting up this cage match is f*cking awesome and AEW rules at making videos to promote their brand of wrestling. It is cool as f*ck that I am about to see a steel cage match and my god, JR just gave some wonderful commentary on the rules of a steel cage match….”Escaping the cage is irrelevant…it doesn’t count…it’s not a part of the equation….a winner is determined, in the AEW rules, by pinfall or submission…as it should have been all along…This is a main event for the ages” Gee, I wonder if he was making an allusion to another company who perhaps has different rules regarding THEIR cage matches….

I hope Wardlow’s theme song doesn’t suck as bad as his singlet appeared to in the previous backstage segment. I can’t tell what his song is like because I’m distracted by his stupid ring gear and his cute little man bun. Pony tails aren’t terribly intimidating. Cody has GOT to get a full masturbation entrance this week. Following a full release during his entrance, Cody is joined by babyface Brandi and Arn Anderson. From a distance you can barely see through the chain link of the cage. The match opens with Cody kicking Wardlow in the face who totally no sells. Wardlow keeps doing a sort of flex that indicates to me that he has spent years pretending to be Brock Lesnar in the mirror leading up to this day. Cody is the first to get tossed into the cage, and while the attention is focused on Brandi and MJF interacting, it would appear that Cody bladed on the other side of the ring because he has a full crimson mask suddenly.

Cody gets tied up in the ropes, hanging by his feet and his body dangling on the ringside and Wardlow does pretty neat thing to use the cage to smash Cody. So, there we have our answer. Excalibur just goes “There he goes…he is setting him up for and he takes the Spinning F10 from Wardlow” and it’s obvious that this dude wants to be Brock. Gross!!! Wardlow rubs Cody’s face on on the chainlink like a cheese grater. Wardlow seems like he is also grossed out by all the blood loss/touching the blood. Wardlow has gotta get props for his senton bomb for sure, though. MJF slips his stupid Diamond ring to Wardlow who gets kicked in the dick. Then Cody pops on the ring, leading to MJF climbing the cage only to get hit in the back by Brandi with a chair. Cody nails Wardlow with the ring, hits a Cross-Rhodes and a 2 count and then, MOTHERF*CKER Cody hit a f*cking moonsault off the top of the cage to pin Wardlow in his first ever match in AEW. WHAT THE F*CK. Wow. Wow. That was dope. Atta boy, Cody. what a f*cking freak. The show goes out with MJF looking scared AF and Cody looking like a f*cking badass standing on top of a steel cage with his face drenched in blood.

Well, that was awesome. Worth waiting for and avoiding all things wrestling related to keep that fresh. I’ll tell ya, I leave this week really liking the BBB more and more and I don’t know why they are the group on my mind but they are. They aren’t even really doing anything other than being paid assassins but the two of them look based and Bunny is hot as hell. Also, there is a chance that I will cry with joy if Matt Hardy turns out to be the Exalted One, but if he just ends up back on WWE TV next week I will probably cry with actual sadness. He has been such a compelling character and was definitely someone who I never cared about and then became a mark for the Broken character and have been hoping for the best for him ever since then. As it stands now, he is one of my favorite wrestling characters in the whole business right now, hands down.

Next week will be the go-home show for the biggest PPV for AEW yet, Revolution. As it stands, I’m pretty into all of the matches that I know of but I am definitely still in the honeymoon phase with AEW and PPVs so this should be fun no matter what. They have definitely defined and refined their brand of wrestling and as far as it goes, this should be a really good indication of what this company actually IS.

Wrestling f*cking RULES. F*ck this f*cking world. Party f*cking HARD.


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