AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 25
All Elite Wrestling paid tribute to the late, great Jay Briscoe Wednesday night on Dynamite in a match featuring his brother, Mark, and longtime friend, Jay Lethal.
The competitors honored the legacy of the former Ring of Honor World champion in an emotion-filled contest, just one week after Briscoe's shocking and untimely death.
That match headlined a broadcast that also featured TNT champion Darby Allin renewing his rivalry with The House of Black and Bryan Danielson combatting Brian Cage as he inches closer to a world title match with MJF.
- In Memory of Jay Briscoe: Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal
- TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Buddy Matthews
- Bryan Danielson vs. Brian Cage
- Action Andretti and Ricky Starks vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara
- Ruby Riott vs. Toni Storm
- JungleHook vs. "All Ego" Ethan Page and Matt Hardy
- Family Therapy featuring The Gunns and The Acclaimed
Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara vs. Ricky Starks and Action Andretti
The Jericho Appreciation Society looked to stop the proverbial bleeding in the night's opening contest as Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara battled the pesky Action Andretti and "Absolute" Ricky Starks in the night's opening tag team contest.
In the end, it was Daniel Garcia's perfectly timed interference that helped the reeling heels score the tainted victory.
A solid opener with great action from the participants, it concluded in a manner that made sense. Jericho shoved Garcia into a supporting role, forcing him to learn underneath Guevara. Chastised for losing to Andretti on Rampage, it was Garcia who was the difference-maker as he rocked Andretti with Floyd the baseball bat, allowing The Spanish God to pick up the fall.
The win broke the heels' losing streak while protecting the red-hot Starks, who was easily the most over guy in the entire show. He is a star and it is about damn time he is being treated like one.
Kudos to Andretti, who does not have a fraction of the experience of the guys he was in the ring with but rarely appeared overwhelmed or out of place.
Jericho and Guevara defeated Andretti and Starks
- Excalibur pointed out that Jericho's recent losses to Andretti and Starks mark the first time The Ocho has lost consecutive matches in AEW.
- Andretti wiped out Daniel Garcia at ringside, allowing Guevara to do the same to him off the distraction.
- Chants of "we want Ricky" gave way to a hot tag to the charismatic babyface, popping the crowd and upping the pace.
- Starks was overconfident, strutting on the top rope until Guevara wiped him out with a cutter.
- Andretti launched himself into consecutive tope suicidas on the opposition.
- Guevara attempted to break up a pinfall but accidentally elbowed Jericho.
- Starks eliminated Jericho from the equation by sending him face-first into the ring post.
TNT Championship Match: Darby Allin vs. Buddy Matthews
Making the fourth defense of his TNT Championship in as many weeks, Darby Allin squared off with The House of Black's Buddy Matthews.
Following a chaotic brawl involving Sting, Malakai Black, Brody King and Ortiz, champion and challenger settled into a damn good back-and-forth match. Matthews scored several near-falls, exploiting the exhaustion a jet-lagged Allin experienced following a flight back from Japan, but he could not keep the champ down.
Allin scored the win off of the Coffin Drop but was immediately threatened by Samoa Joe via video, who promised that winning the TNT title was the biggest mistake of the face-painted antihero's life.
Allin has developed into one of the constants when it comes to consistently great in-ring output. Not everyone will like his style, but there is little denying the quality of his work. He has mastered the formula for an effective big vs. little matchup, and it showed here.
This was the first real opportunity we have had to see Matthews perform in a singles match setting, and he excelled. This was a throwback to the Cruiserweight Championship matches he had back in WWE when he would routinely steal shows with Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and others.
The post-match promo from Joe suggests the feud with Allin is not over, but given the fact that we saw that particular pairing work consecutive matches against each other back at the turn of the calendar, it is probably one we do not need to go back to so soon.
Allin defeated Matthews
- Prior to the match, a fantastic video package paying tribute to the late Jay Briscoe aired. A tough, emotional watch, for sure.
- The lights went out mid-match, and when they came back on, Malakai Black and Brody King confronted Sting, only for Ortiz to make the save. A brawl broke out heading into the commercial, just as Matthews delivered a Liger Bomb to Allin for a near-fall.
- Matthews broke out a buckle bomb and a stomp, an obvious wink and nod to former WWE teammate Seth Rollins.
- Allin broke out the Scorpion Death Drop from the ropes for a near-fall.
JungleHook vs. Ethan Page and Matt Hardy
Still under the employment of The Firm after a loss some weeks back, Matt Hardy partnered with "All Ego" Ethan Page to battle JungleHook, the team of FTW champion Hook and "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry.
Page's moniker proved apropos, as it was his ego that cost him and Hardy the victory, despite his partner being in a position to bring home the win.
Hardy tried for a Twist of Fate on Perry, but Page called him off and tried for the win himself and wound up tapping out in the clutches of the Snare Trap instead.
This was a fun match, and the team of Hook and Perry is a lot of fun, but one cannot help but think that it is a waste of both guys.
Hook has an aura about him as the no-nonsense ass-kicker, and shoving him into a tag team negates that. Perry, conversely, just got out of a long-term tag team and really should be highlighted as a singles competitor.
The Page-Hardy stuff is fine and has been a nice addition to some of the secondary shows. If nothing else, it gets Page on television and should culminate in a fairly significant one-on-one program eventually.
JungleHook defeated Hardy and Page
- Hardy teased his Broken gimmick with his "Delete" mannerisms.
- In a pre-taped segment, The Acclaimed, The Gunns and Billy Gunn got together for some Family Therapy. It was a rather bland segment that did nothing to forward the feud and made little use of the charismatic tag champs.
- Elsewhere, Renee Paquette interviewed Hangman Page, who expressed a desire to knock her husband, Jon Moxley, out in Dayton next week. Wheeler Yuta interrupted, and a match between him and Page was made for Friday's Rampage.
Bryan Danielson vs. "The Machine" Brian Cage
A week ago, MJF paid Brian Cage to break Bryan Danielson's arm. Wednesday night, The Machine set out to do just that as he squared off with The American Dragon.
He may not have succeeded, but it was not for a lack of trying.
The big man targeted Danielson's left arm with his offense, working him over through the break and maintaining control until a spirited comeback by the babyface via a superplex. The action intensified down the stretch until an alert Danielson scored a rollup and stacked Cage up for the win.
After the match, The Machine beat Danielson down before MJF marched to the ring and grabbed a steel chair. Cage wrapped the weapon around Danielson's shoulder and sent him into the steel post.
Before much more damage could be done, Konosuke Takeshita made the save, sending the world champion scurrying before fending off Cage.
Not only did this give Danielson an injury to overcome if he wants to win the world title, it also set the stage for a Takeshita-MJF showdown, and that is pretty damn exciting.
The Takeshita-MJF issues began with the latter's insulting promo on the young Japanese competitor and continued here. Rather than allowing their previous interaction to be a throwaway, meaningless one, Tony Khan has positioned Takeshita as someone to watch as a potential MJF opponent.
If there is a negative, it is that Wheeler Yuta is Danielson's teammate in the Blackpool Combat Club, as is Claudi Castagnoli, but neither came to the aid of their friend. What that means for that faction remains to be seen, but it is difficult to find fault with the inclusion of Takeshita here as an ally and potential protege of Danielson.
As for the match, it was a ton of fun and showed off the talents of the underutilized Cage.
Danielson defeated Cage
- Excalibur revealed that, based on his win-loss record, a victory for Cage would make him the No. 1 contender.
- Danielson caught Cage earlier with the LeBell Lock, but the latter fought out and stood tall. "Who betta than Cage?" he yelled, his tribute to the late Chris Kanyon.
- Danielson appeared to take a scary bump on his left shoulder, and Cage quickly exploited it throughout the commercial break.
- The babyface delivered a big superplex to turn the tide in his favor.
Toni Storm vs. Ruby Soho
A week after joining Saraya in beating down Willow Nightingale, Toni Storm battled the woman who came to her opponent's aid, Ruby Soho.
Storm dominated the action, and when it appeared as though the tattooed babyface would mount a comeback, she faked an injury that allowed her to lure Soho into a trap.
She looked for Storm Zero, but Britt Baker, originally scheduled for the match but removed because of an injury, provided a distraction, and Soho capitalized on it, winning with Destination Unknown.
The idea of the incoming women vs. the AEW originals is an appealing one, and thus far, it has played out perfectly. Yes, the heel turn for Storm and Saray was somewhat abrupt, but it was in line with how the fans were reacting. Rather than resisting, Khan made the call to go in that direction, and it saves him and the competitors themselves the frustration of unintended fan reaction.
Soho's promo before the match did a nice job of establishing her motivations, but there may need to be more—maybe a heel-turn tease or a reminder from Baker that she came from the same place as Saraya and Storm.
There are enough moving pieces and story threads to do something fun and special with this storyline.
Soho and Storm had a solid match, with really physical stuff from the latter, and it would be great to see what they can do on pay-per-view without the interruption of a commercial break.
Soho defeated Storm
- Excalibur, on a roll tonight, revealed this is the first time that Soho and Storm have squared off. He also revealed that Dr. Britt Baker DMD was originally slated for the match but was unable to compete because of an injury.
- Storm attempted a rollup with a handful of tights but could not beat Soho the same way she did Nightingale.
- Storm suckered Soho in, feigning a nose injury, only to pull her opponent face-first into the ropes.
- Baker appeared toward the end of the match, providing a distraction that allowed for Soho's comeback.
Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal
Pro wrestling is, and always has been, at its best when it is at its most real.
There was nothing more real than the main event of Wednesday's Dynamite, a match in honor of the late, great Jay Briscoe, featuring his brother Mark squaring off with his friend, Jay Lethal.
With emotions at a high, two of the cornerstones of Ring of Honor paid homage to one of the most influential and beloved wrestlers of his time. The action was great, the crowd was appreciative of it all, but enough cannot be said about Briscoe and what he accomplished here.
Eight days after the devastating and untimely death of his brother, a man who he shared both his personal and professional life with, he not only set foot in the squared circle but delivered an inspirational showing against a guy in Lethal who was clearly emotional from the get-go.
The mental toughness on the part of those men to fight through all of the heartbreak and sadness to do what they did on a major professional wrestling telecast is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
The play-by-play of such a match is inconsequential, but Briscoe won in the most fitting way imaginable: his brother's famed Jay Driller.
Concerning one's self with a grade feels vapid and shallow, but for the sake of the recap, it earns the full monty.
If you were not emotionally spent watching Briscoe and Lethal give their all in the name of a man they loved and whose legacies are intrinsically tied to his, you certainly were after the locker room emptied out on to the stage in honor of Jay.
Mark standing tall, the ROH World Tag Team Championship belts that he and his brother held on 13 occasions held overhead, was the most fitting conclusion to the night and one of those rare moments that will stand the test of time.
This was a banner night for AEW. Tony Khan, his team and every wrestler who filled that screen in the closing moments of the broadcast should feel proud of themselves, but most of all, Mark should, for carrying on his brother's legacy in the most difficult of times.
Briscoe defeated Lethal
- Briscoe's entrance, the tears running down Lethal's face prior to the bell...goosebumps.
- Briscoe unleashed some Redneck Kung Fu to the delight of the fans.
- With Lethal laid out on the timekeeper's table, Briscoe delivered a big Froggy Bow that popped both the crowd and the commentary team.
- The post-match embrace of opponents exuded respect, not just for each other, but for Jay and everything the three of them had been through as pillars of ROH.