AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 8February 9, 2023
AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 8
Championships dominated the conversation Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite as nearly every match on the night's card carried title implications, none bigger than the showdown between Bryan Danielson and Rush.
A win for The American Dragon would earn him a shot at the AEW World Championship and a 60-Minute Iron Man match against MJF. A loss would send him to the back of the line, with a month's worth of grueling battles wasted.
Did Danielson achieve his goal, or did the evil champion have the last laugh by way of a Rush victory?
Find out with this recap of the February 7 broadcast from El Paso County Coliseum in El Paso, Texas.
- AEW World Trios Championship: The Elite (c) vs. AR Fox and Top Flight
- AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Acclaimed (c) vs. The Gunns
- AEW World Women's Championship: Jamie Hayter (c) vs. The Bunny
- AEW World Championship Eliminator: Konosuke Takeshita vs. MJF
- Bryan Danielson vs. Rush
- The Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet
AEW World Championship Eliminator: Konosuke Takeshita vs. MJF
Konosuke Takeshita had an opportunity to pay off what had been a magical start to his All Elite Wrestling career by defeating world champion MJF in a eliminator match.
As great as the 27-year-old Japanese star has been, though, The Salt of the Earth was that much better.
MJF withstood the arsenal of a game striker, not to mention a self-inflicted injury caused by a missed knee drop, to tap Takeshita out with an armbar that exploited the babyface's own left arm injury.
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What an exchange between <a href="https://twitter.com/The_MJF?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@The_MJF</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Takesoup?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@takesoup</a>!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWDynamite?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWDynamite</a> is LIVE on TBS! <a href="https://t.co/laJ8pbMWc5">pic.twitter.com/laJ8pbMWc5</a>
This was a fantastic match that did not overstay its welcome but did pack a ton of action into a 20-minute window.
Takeshita again performed up to the moment, but it was MJF's command of his work, as well as the audience, that really enhanced the contest.
The crowd was all over him for his cheap heel tactics, be it rolling to the floor to avoid further punishment or draping his foot over the bottom rope at the opportune time to break up a pin.
Whether it was showing off his in-ring psychology or physical attributes, he was on fire here and proved he could miss two months of ring time and come back as good as he has ever been.
The win all but ensures MJF will enter Revolution on March 5 as the AEW champion while Bryan Danielson will have the opportunity to cash his ticket to that pay-per-view and a one-hour Iron Man match later in the show.
MJF defeated Takeshita
- MJF used referee Paul Turner to stunt Takeshita's offensive onslaught and then took the young star down and immediately targeted his left arm.
- Takeshita paid tribute to Eddie Guerrero in the late WWE Superstar's hometown of El Paso with a frog splash for a dramatic two-count.
- The babyface missed a dive over the top rope, crashing on the floor and continuing to nurse his injured left arm.
- Takeshita rocked MJF with a lariat from the top rope but the champ backflipped and landed on his feet.
- The babyface followed up a rebound lariat with a pin but MJF countered into an armbar.
- "Idiot!" MJF exclaimed as Takeshita used his injured left arm to block a right hand.
AEW World Women's Championship Eliminator: Jamie Hayter vs. The Bunny
AEW women's champion Jamie Hayter and The Bunny had a brief match that ended abruptly, with the former delivering a ripcord lariat and Hayterade for the pinfall victory.
The majority of the bout took place during the commercial break, and an ugly spot appeared to lead to the sudden finish. It was disappointing for The Bunny, who does not get highlighted nearly enough on television. The match also failed to properly spotlight Hayter.
The post-match events saw Renee Paquette interview Saraya and Toni Storm, only for the heels to attack and humiliate Leva Bates by spray-painting an 'L' on her.
That, and their ongoing feud with Hayter and Britt Baker, were easily the bigger takeaway than anything that happened in the potentially injury-shortened match.
Hayter defeated Bunny
- An ugly finish saw The Bunny possibly injured, leading to a quick finish coming out of the break.
- Saraya and Storm spray-painted Bates backstage, continuing that gimmick right out of 1996 WCW.
Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet: Ricky Starks vs. Jericho Appreciation Society
To get his hands on Chris Jericho, Ricky Starks would have to battle and defeat three members of the Jericho Appreciation Society.
Up first: "Cool Hand" Angelo Parker, who Starks defeated in short order with a roll-up. Next was "Daddy Magic" Matt Menard, who suffered the same fate but in even shorter order.
Daniel Garcia fared better than his teammates as he targeted the midsection of Starks. The young stars of AEW had a solid, competitive mini-match that saw Garcia control before Starks attempted a comeback.
A back elbow by a masked assailant outside the squared circle allowed Garcia to capitalize and score the win. After the match, the mystery man revealed himself to be Jericho, who saved himself from having to battle Absolute one more time.
This was fine for what it was, but there isn't a single reason this could not have just been Garcia vs. Starks. They would have had more time to deliver a higher-quality match.
Perhaps more significant than anything that happened here was what appeared to be less of a reaction for Starks than he had enjoyed in previous weeks.
Whether that is a reflection of so-so booking on the heels of his championship clash with MJF or a program that is not clicking as some likely hoped it would, it does not change the fact that Starks was among the hottest stars on the show not all that long ago.
Hopefully, the inevitable rematch with Jericho rectifies that, but history suggests the outcome of that contest may not be as obvious as one would think and that is problematic.
Starks defeated Parker and Menard; Garcia defeated Starks
- Starks quickly dispatched the former 2.0, confirming their status in the hierarchy of JAS members.
- Starks countered a guillotine from Garcia into a sit-out powerbomb but could not follow up with a pinning attempt.
- A masked man blasted Starks with a back elbow on the floor, setting up the finish. He revealed himself to be Jericho after the bell.
Bryan Danielson vs. Rush
MJF, in cahoots with Preston Vance and Jose, did everything in his power to keep Bryan Danielson from making it to the ring for his scheduled match with "El Toro Blanco" Rush.
A determined American Dragon shouldered his way out and sprinted to the ring, only to find himself on the defensive and bloodied early.
Nothing would deter Danielson, though, as he cashed his ticket to Revolution on March 5 and an AEW World Championship Iron Man match against MJF by way of a Busaiku Knee to the face of Rush.
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This was nothing short of fantastic as Danielson continued to assert his greatness and Rush reminded the world of why he was once considered the future of Ring of Honor.
Both men were extraordinary, delivering up to even the loftiest of expectations a match that would have fit perfectly on any pay-per-view card.
It was an intense, hard-hitting affair that saw The American Dragon absorb everything thrown at him before proving his will was strong even when his body may not have been.
The post-match beatdown by MJF was great and built even more heat for the villain ahead of a match with Danielson that should be a defining point in his young career.
Danielson defeated Rush
- MJF offered Tony Schiavone significant money to leave the business, and the former voice of WCW replied, "I take Venmo," in a funny line.
- Rush walked away, apparently avoiding a tope suicida. Danielson responded by changing course and delivering one anyway.
- Rush cut off Danielson's late surge with a nasty forearm and a straightjacket piledriver for two.
- After the match, MJF attacked Danielson with the Dynamite diamond ring and applied the devastating armbar. Security had to intervene heading into the break.
AEW World Trios Championship: The Elite vs. AR Fox and Top Flight
Momentum was on the side of Top Flight as Dante and Darius Martin entered Wednesday's AEW World Trios Championship match alongside partner AR Fox against The Elite's Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks.
They had scored victories in a recent trios Battle Royal and in tag team action against the Bucks, and they sought to make it three in a row by dethroning the champions.
The challengers fell just short, though, but not without another breakout performance by Fox. He seized another opportunity and showed out, begging the question: Why did it take so long for someone to give him the chance to showcase his skill on this stage?
Fox was fantastic, hanging with The Elite and appearing to have them teetering on the edge of defeat on more than one occasion. Ultimately, Omega was able to outwrestle him late, narrowly escaping with his team's titles via rollup.
It wasn't as good as the opener or the Danielson-Rush match, but this was still a wildly effective party match that had the fans invested from the get-go and allowed the challengers to shine.
The Elite still feel stale, something no 1970s rock hit will change, but at least they padded the win-loss record here and have another quality match to tout.
The Elite defeated Fox and Top Flight
- Fox rolled through a snap mare by Omega and delivered a cutter.
- Fox dove over the top rope and wiped the Bucks out. A second did the same to Omega.
- Fox delivered a 450 splash to Nick Jackson, only to have his pinfall broken up at the last second by Omega.
- Nick delivered a springboard moonsault to wipe out Top Flight at ringside.
- A V-Trigger, followed by the Doctor Bomb, failed to put Fox down for three.
- Fox countered the One-Winged Angel into a roll-up for a dangerously close two-count.
AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Acclaimed vs. The Gunns
Austin and Colten Gunn won the AEW World Tag Team Championship in the main event of Wednesday's Dynamite.
Take a moment to let that sink in.
A solid contest between the second-generation stars and The Acclaimed's Max Caster and Anthony Bowens descended into an overbooked mess late, with a referee bump and teased heel turn by Billy Gunn before the ill-advised outcome that saw The Gunns claim gold.
The Acclaimed are one of the most-over acts in any company in pro wrestling and had gone through so much to win the AEW tag titles. Best yet, they were nowhere near close to their popularity diminishing, which means this outcome was even more befuddling.
There will be some who defend the booking of this, suggesting that the screwy nature of the outcome will build heat for The Gunns and set up a return match that will be even hotter as fans anticipate Caster and Bowens getting their titles back.
That is not the impression the finish left, though. The overall tone of the closing moments of the show was either confusion or dismay.
The decision to use The Gunns to dethrone The Acclaimed just feels wrong.
Maybe Tony Khan can rectify this and heat up a story quick enough to get fans excited about a rematch for Revolution, but this did not get over at all like management likely hoped.
The Gunns defeated The Acclaimed to win the tag titles
- Taz put over both teams for having evolved out of AEW Dark. It is an element of the match that went unexplored because so much was made of Billy Gunn's status as an absentee father or something like that.
- Rare miscommunication from Bowens and Caster did not cost The Acclaimed as all four competitors took each other down with clothesline spots.
- Bowens rocked referee Stefon Smith with a rolling elbow, leading to a rare referee bump.
- Billy hit the ring and momentarily teased a heel turn before Colten rocked him with one of the tag titles.
- Bowens delivered The Arrival, and Caster followed with the Mic Drop. But Smith's absence from the ring prevented them from winning.