AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 15
For the first time since the demise of WCW in 2001, Bash at the Beach returned to the wrestling calendar with the January 15 episode of All Elite Wrestling's Dynamite. The event, headlined by a massive four-way bout to determine the top contenders to the AEW Tag Team Championships, continued the young promotion's build to their next pay-per-view, Revolution.
Also on tap for the broadcast was a showdown between Jon Moxley and The Inner Circle's Sammy Guevara, just one week after the latter outsmarted world champion Chris Jericho. What consequences would Moxley face at the hands of Le Champion and his faction?
Find out with this recap of the explosive episode, live from Miami.
Fatal 4-Way Number One Contenders' Match
This week's broadcast kicked off with four of the best teams (Santana and Ortiz, Best Friends, The Young Bucks and the team of Kenny Omega and Hangman Page) in AEW battling for the right to challenge SCU for the tag team titles.
The Bucks and Omega worked together at one point, frustrating Page, who watched his own partner celebrate with the opposition. The Elite's early dominance ended with a big tornado DDT by Trent to Nick Jackson. The Best Friends made some excellently timed tags to sustain their advantage.
Matt Jackson fought his way back into the match but Santana and Ortiz beat him down and isolated him from any potential hot tag. A big spear created separation and Jackson tagged Omega. The Cleaner exploded into the match. Page joined him for some double-team offense, including a moonsault from Hangman, off the top rope and onto the opposition at ringside.
The other teams followed suit, the high spots becoming riskier and riskier until Trent delivered a superplex from the top rope on Matt, wiping out every other competitor on the floor in the process.
Moments later, Orange Cassidy entered the fray to a thunderous ovation and though he found himself knocked to the arena floor, Best Friends capitalized, delivering Strong Zero on Omega.
Eventually, Omega recovered and delivered a V-Trigger. Page made the cover and picked up the win, stealing the glory from his partner. After the match, Hangman somewhat reluctantly showed respect to the Bucks as the Elite posed heading into the break.
Page and Omega defeated Santana and Ortiz, Best Friends and The Young Bucks
This was a red-hot opener with some superb action that not only got the show off to an action-packed start, it also wrote the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Page and Omega. At times, it was very apparent that they were not on the same page, and Hangman swooping in to steal the pin away from Omega was a nice touch for a star desperately seeking momentum.
Theirs is a story that feels destined to climax soon, perhaps as soon as their upcoming tag title bout with SCU.
And rightfully so. With Revolution coming up, Page vs. Omega is a strong addition to the card. That is, as long as management does not hold off the tag title match until then in hopes of building to an even more significant showdown, perhaps at Double or Nothing 2 in May.
The only questionable element of the entire match? The loss suffered by Santana and Ortiz, who really should be more protected as members of The Inner Circle.
Cody Responds to MJF's Stipulations
Cody hit the ring to discuss the stipulations put forth by MJF two weeks ago and whether or not he would accept them in order to get his hands on his former friend.
The American Nightmare ran down the list, approaching each one-by-one and the thought process behind them. He suggested MJF was stalling, called the "old-school heel" lazy and accepted every single one of the stipulations.
He vowed to give his rival his own scar come February 29 to wrap up the promo.
Cody is the best talker in the business right now, thanks to his ability to strike an emotional chord with audiences. Every response is raw and guttural. More importantly, he did something MJF failed to two weeks earlier: he gave a look into the thought process behind each one.
He told a story with every explanation and had fans hanging on every word. The result? A greater demand to see the match and more excitement surrounding it.
The question now is whether or not the final product can possibly live up to the promo work Cody has put into it to this point. If the EVP's history is any indication, the answer is a resounding 'yes.'
Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs. Mel and Awesome Kong
Brandi Rhodes filled in for Awesome Kong, teaming with Mel as The Nightmare Collective battled Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida. The heels jumped Statlander as Shida made her entrance, leaving the Japanese-born competitor to make the save.
Shida started with Mel and withstood her larger opponent's early onslaught to drop her at ringside. A springboard knee to the face, off a chair, continued the babyfaces' advantage.
The heels recovered, though, and worked over Shida during the commercial break. They cut the ring off from her partner, but Shida recovered and tagged Statlander in.
AEW's resident alien took the fight to Rhodes and scored a near-fall. A messy top-rope dropkick from Shida barely clipped Mel, who shook it off and sent Shida into the guardrail.
Back inside, Mel battled Statlander, only for Shida to re-enter the match and deliver a big superplex. A running knee strike by Statlander gave way to a standing moonsault. The action broke down, devoid of any tags or general continuity.
Statlander eventually put Mel away with a package tombstone piledriver for the win.
Statlander and Shida defeated Rhodes and Mel
At some point, AEW really has to address the blatant disregard of the rules in its tag team matches. At one point here, Shida re-entered the ring and delivered a superplex without any reprimanding from the official. She was allowed in, to execute moves and even drag Brandi into the match despite the fact that Statlander was the legal competitor.
No referee admonishing or anything of the sort.
That is an issue that has plagued tag matches throughout the short history of AEW and one area of the show that desperately needs addressed.
Furthermore, how is the audience to believe in The Nightmare Collection as a legitimate threat when they lose their first match? Are they only a real threat to the rest of the roster when Awesome Kong is around and if so, why is the group even a thing?
Again, the women's division action presented more issues that demand attention than solutions.
Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara
A week after Jon Moxley stuck it to The Inner Circle and more importantly AEW champion Chris Jericho, he squared off with "Spanish God" Sammy Guevara in singles competition.
Guevara took the fight to Moxley early but the antihero of AEW shrugged it off and answered with chops of his own. A big cutter halted the top contender's momentum and allowed Guevara a momentary upper-hand.
Moxley fought back with a slap and delivered a release suplex for two. He dragged the young star to the ring apron and teased a Paradigm Shift but Guevara fought out and delivered a big pump kick. The Spanish God drove Moxley back-first into the apron, the into the steel steps before arrogantly posing back in the ring.
Back from the break, a re-energized Moxley attempted a comeback but Guevara delivered a standing Shooting Star Press for a two-count. An inverted DDT by Moxley earned him a two of his own. Guevara fought out of a Paradigm Shift from the top rope and delivered a Spanish Fly.
Moxley recovered and applied a rear naked choke for an immediate tapout victory.
After the match, Jericho's music played before the arena went dark. When the lights came back up, Moxley found himself confronted by The Inner Circle, who beat him down in a five-on-one assault. Jericho grabbed a spike from his jacket and proceeded to jam it into the eye of Moxley, much to the disgust of the commentary team.
The ringside doctor checked on Moxley as Jericho and Co. celebrated heading into the break.
Moxley defeated Guevara
Lost in the chaos of this all was that Moxley's victory sets him up for a match with either Darby Allin or Pac on next week's show, a shot at Jericho's title awaiting that match.
The match itself was fine for what it was and really put Guevara over as a strong in-ring competitor who can knock off the top stars in the company. Moxley winning was no real surprise, nor was the beatdown from The Inner Circle.
The strength of the segment, though, was the old-school angle that accompanied the attack. The spike to the eye is heel savagery at its best and creates doubt that Moxley can possibly come back from the assault challenge Jericho as so many expected.
For the sake of the night's broadcast, it adds greater urgency to Allin vs. Pac, which suddenly feels like a No. 1 contender's match with Moxley's status uncertain.
Diamond Dallas Page, QT Marshall, and Dustin Rhodes vs. Butcher, Blade, and MJF
A week ago, The Butcher, The Blade and The Bunny joined MJF for a beatdown on Diamond Dallas Page that ended only when Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall made the save. This week, Page returned to the squared circle, teaming with Marshall and Rhodes to battle Butcher, Blade and MJF in a high-profile Six-Man Tag Team match.
Page and MJF started for their respective teams, or so it seemed. The heel tagged Butcher into the match, wanting nothing to do with the master of the Diamond Cutter. When Page tagged Marshall into the match, MJF re-entered the ring and paired off with the journeyman competitor.
During the break, the heels earned control of the match, working over Rhodes. MJF never missed an opportunity to gloat, posing in between dishing out punishment to the heels. The grizzled vet Rhodes downed Blade and made the tag to DDP, who exploded into the match and took the fight to the opposition.
Page tried for a Diamond Cutter but MJF countered and delivered a low blow. Rhodes tagged back in, delivered a destroyer to the cocky young competitor and Page dropped him with a Diamond Cutter.
Butcher made the save and Rhodes wiped him out with a senton. Marshall took out Blade and Page dove off the top rope, wiping everyone out at ringside. Back inside the squared circle, MJF scored a quick rollup on Marshall for the win.
MJF, Butcher and Blade defeated Rhodes, Marshall and DDP
This was a really fun, energetic match that popped the crowd and kept the fans invested throughout.
With that said, there is a very real question as to whether MJF should be struggling to beat a past-his-prime Hall of Famer and a guy in Marshall who is hardly what you would call a guy portrayed as an elite talent in AEW.
Ditto Butcher and Blade, whose credibility takes an Ascension-like hit with every passing week. Instead of establishing themselves as a threat in the tag team division, they are glorified enhancement talent that bumps around too much to be considered a dominant force of any kind.
Despite a gimmick that would suggest otherwise.
Still, the overall quality of the match made up for the obvious faults, but AEW officials really should better evaluate their use of MJF ahead of what should be a career-making match with Cody at Revolution.
Darby Allin vs. Pac
With the uncertainty surrounding Jon Moxley's eye injury, the main event of Wednesday's show took on greater significance as Darby Allin and Pac squared off, a potential shot at Chris Jericho's AEW world title at stake.
Pac seized control ahead of the break, sending Allin into the steel ring steps. He dominated the action coming out of the commercial, dropping Allin with a shotgun dropkick from the top. The face-painted enigma fought back and delivered a Coffin Drop to the arena floor.
A stunner and sunset flip bomb by Allin continued his comeback attempt, netting him a count of two.
The action continued back and forth, Allin trying for a springboard Coffin Drop, only for The Bastard to catch him mid-flight with a German suplex. A sit-out powerbomb earned Pac another near-fall. As the action moved up top, Pac dropped Allin with a headbutt.
He followed with the Black Arrow to the back for the pin-fall victory.
After the match, Pac labeled himself the No. 1 contender and threatened Jericho's reign as champion.
Moxley emerged from the back of an ambulance, his eye taped up, and entered the arena. He vowed to kick Pac's ass and earn the title shot next week.
Pac defeated Allin
MJF and Hangman Page may have more immediate success, and may capture a world title first, but Allin is the competitor who will inspire the loudest reaction when he finally scores his long-awaited win over a top AEW star.
Allin has been nothing short of phenomenal, consistently rising to the occasion and performing up to the level of the competition. He was stellar here, delivering a performance befitting one of the building blocks of AEW's bright future.
Pac and Moxley have unfinished business after their time-limit draw from November and a match between them is a star-studded way to cap off next Wednesday's episode as part of Chris Jericho's Rock and Rager: Part Deux cruise.