AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 22
The march to AEW Revolution continued Wednesday as Dynamite emanated from Chris Jericho's Rock 'N' Wrestling Rager At Sea: Part Deux.
The event, headlined by a high-stakes No. 1 Contender's match between Jon Moxley and Pac, also saw SCU's Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian defend the tag team titles against the seemingly dysfunctional tandem of Kenny Omega and "Hangman" Adam Page.
Throw in a six-man tag featuring cruise host Jericho and MJF in action against Joey Janela, and this week's show was an action-packed, newsworthy broadcast with implications on the immediate and long-term futures of the company.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. SCU
The sudden rise of Hangman Page and Kenny Omega as a tag team culminated in a championship opportunity against SCU's Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian to kick off this week's show.
What started as a friendly exchange gave way to an explosive shoving match between Sky and an irritated Page. Omega tagged in and things simmered down. He controlled the action until Page tagged back in and found himself isolated from his teammate.
A nasty release German suplex momentarily stunned Page and allowed the champions to continue their roll. A big clothesline from Hangman turned Kazarian inside out. Page tagged Omega in, and The Cleaner unloaded on the opposition, including a snapdragon suplex to Kazarian and a fisherman buster to Sky for a near-fall.
Omega blasted Sky with the V-Trigger and set up for the One-Winged Angel, but Sky wiggled free. He delivered a big hurricanrana off the top rope. Omega fought out of a TKO but ate an errant Buckshot Lariat from Page.
Back from the break, Page launched Kazarian across the squared circle with a fall-away slam. SCU recovered and delivered SCU Later, but Page broke up the pin. Hangman sent Sky to the floor and delivered the Buckshot Lariat to Kazarian for the win and the titles.
Page and Omega defeated SCU for the titles
And with that, we have our first championship switch in AEW history.
It is disappointing to see SCU's reign come to an end after only one pay-per-view defense, but the Page-Omega story has been a red-hot element of AEW television for weeks now while Sky and Kazarian have inexplicably disappeared from relevance.
Page winning the match and titles feels like the culmination of months of frustration and disappointment, but the fact that he body-surfed out of the arena, leaving his Elite teammates behind, suggests he has not resolved his issues with his friends.
That will be worth keeping in mind, particularly as the in-ring mishaps continue between him and Omega, as was the case here with his errant Buckshot Lariat that nearly cost them the victory.
The match itself was good, fast-paced, intense and dramatic. It kept fans invested and delivered on the quality of performers involved.
Britt Baker vs. Priscilla Kelly
Two women seeking to establish themselves in women's title contention squared off this week as Dr. Britt Baker battled "Hell's Favorite Harlot" Priscilla Kelly in singles competition.
A newly aggressive Baker took the fight to Kelly early, controlling the pace of the bout into the commercial break.
After the commercial, Kelly delivered a big dropkick to the exposed back of her opponent, but Baker fired off a series of clotheslines in response, followed by a corner knee lift. The sling blade followed, and the doctor put her opponent away for the win.
Following the match, Tony Schiavone attempted to interview Baker, but the newly turned heel criticized the voice of AEW, calling him a former Starbucks barista before promoting herself right into the next break.
Baker defeated Kelly
Seeing as how the majority of the match occurred during the commercial break, it is difficult to give this one an accurate grade, at least from that perspective.
Where this earned its above-average mark was the post-match promo from Baker.
Was she a polished talker? No, but odds are, she has not had the opportunity to cut many live-television promos over the course of her career. Like most, the more she gets to do it and showcase this new entitled and self-confident attitude, the more she will grow into the role management wants her to fill.
For now, Baker is a performer who is growing up before our eyes and will need the patience of the fanbase if she is ever to reach the potential that led those in power to make her one of the first to sign on the dotted line with AEW.
Kelly is one of the most buzzed-about indie talents and a performer who really should find success in a major, national company soon.
Jurassic Express vs. The Inner Circle
The rivalry between Chris Jericho and Jurassic Express, the result of Jungle Boy surviving a 10-minute beatdown from the AEW world champion, continued this week as Jericho, Santana and Ortiz battled Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt and Luchasaurus in a huge six-man tag.
The babyfaces seized control early, using lighting-quick offense to down Ortiz. Santana failed to gain the upper hand for the heels, too, as Jurassic Express rolled.
The Inner Circle finally halted the momentum of the opposition as Santana delivered a big Russian leg sweep off the middle rope to Jungle Boy heading into the break.
Jericho and Co. isolated the champion's rival, cutting the ring off from his partners and wearing him down in search of a win. Jungle Boy countered an attempt at a superplex, dropping Jericho face-first from the top rope and delivering a missile dropkick.
Before the babyface could make the tag, Ortiz and Santana cut him off and continued the heels' assault. Jungle Boy finally made the tag to Luchasaurus, who exploded into the ring and blew threw the competition until a well-timed distraction by Jake Hager allowed Jericho to dispose of him at ringside.
Stunt, now the legal contestant, scored a near-fall off a 450 splash on the champion but eventually succumbed to the Judas Effect as The Inner Circle emerged victoriously.
Jericho, Santana and Ortiz defeated Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Stunt
This was a damn fun tag match that accomplished a few things: solidified Jungle Boy as one of the more sympathetic babyfaces in the business, showcased the explosive athleticism of Luchasaurus and highlighted Jericho's willingness to put over young talent like Stunt as a momentary threat to beat him.
It was nice to see management revisit the vendetta between these two teams rather than letting it disappear, never to be spoken of again despite Jungle Boy's triumph over Jericho from a few weeks back.
The right team probably went over, but one would be hard-pressed to suggest Jurassic Express is not significantly better off for having the match it just did against the top faction in the company.
Joey Janela vs. MJF
A video package detailing the history between MJF and Cody gave way to the self-assured competitor's arrival for his match with "Bad Boy" Joey Janela.
MJF ate a big back body drop over the top rope and into the squared circle after a blind charge down the ramp. He recovered, though, sending Janela flipping into the corner and down onto his head and neck.
After the break, Janela scored a near-fall and appeared to be rolling when "Superbad" Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford provided a distraction. MJF capitalized and delivered the Double Cross for the pinfall victory.
Following the match, MJF taunted Cody, calling him a lyricist in a mocking fashion. When The American Nightmare hit the ring, the heel's taunts continued, each word poking and prodding at the patience of the EVP.
As MJF made his way up the ramp, The Young Bucks appeared and dropped him with a superkick. From there, the babyfaces sent him into the pool.
MJF defeated Janela
Like the Baker match earlier in the night, most of this contest took place offscreen because of a commercial break. The interruption by Sabian and Ford continues Janela's feud with his ex and her new beau while giving MJF the sleazy win, so in that regard, it worked.
Furthermore, what happened post-match reminded MJF that while Cody can't put his hands on him, he has plenty of friends who will not hesitate to do so for the EVP. It was a nice twist and a moment that could bring about fun angles in the weeks leading into Revolution.
Jon Moxley vs. Pac
The top two contenders to the AEW World Heavyweight Championship battled in the main event of Dynamite as Jon Moxley faced Pac for the right to challenge Chris Jericho on pay-per-view February 29. The last time the competitors squared off, the match ended in a time-limit draw.
The tenacious Moxley, his eye wrapped after the vicious assault by Jericho on last week's show, found himself on the defensive heading into the break.
Back from the commercial, Moxley turned The Bastard inside out with a huge lariat. Pac recovered and tried for a superplex, but Mox fought out and dropped him to the mat below. Moxley looked for a top-rope elbow drop, but Pac got his knees up. He tried for the Brutalizer, but Moxley countered for a two-count.
Relentless in his attack, Pac kicked away at the eye of his opponent, targeting the injured body part in an attempt to score the coveted, high-stakes win.
Pac tried for two separate Black Arrows but missed on both, keeping his opponent's chances at victory alive. A DDT by Moxley appeared to have things trending in his favor, but Pac again halted his momentum. After a brief back-and-forth on the floor, Moxley again scaled the ropes. Again, Pac caught him, this time delivering a superplex.
The Bastard ripped the bandage from Moxley's eye and rained down on it with a flurry of rights. Moxley caught his opponent off guard with a small package and then followed up with a double-arm DDT. The Paradigm Shift came next as Moxley cashed his ticket to Revolution.
Moxley defeated Pac
The storytelling surrounding Moxley's eye injury was strong, but at the same time, it felt as though the focus on that particular body part hurt the match ever so slightly. It was not up to the quality of their first match, which may have ended in a draw but featured more consistency throughout.
With that said, it was still damn good and further proof of the renaissances both men are enjoying post-WWE.
Moxley vs. Jericho is very clearly the most star-studded match AEW can hope for and should make for an interesting PPV main event. Hopefully, the ultra-creative workers can resist the urge to get too clever for their own good and deliver the quality of match fans deserve from stars of their stature.