AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 12
The march to Revolution continued Wednesday night with a championship-heavy episode of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite.
Kenny Omega and "Hangman" Adam Page defended the tag team titles against SCU, and Riho put her women's title up for grabs against Nyla Rose.
Those two matches headlined a broadcast that also featured Jungle Boy vs. MJF, and Jon Moxley squaring off with The Inner Circle's Santana.
Find out who emerged victorious from each of those matches with this recap of the stacked February 12 episode.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. SCU
The Dark Order issued a warning to both SCU and the AEW tag team champions Hangman Page and Kenny Omega ahead of this week's opening match. Christopher Daniels volunteered to check on things, drawing the suspicion of the commentary team.
Early back-and-forth action gave way to a pair of dives from Scorpio Sky and Omega, with the latter giving the champions the upper hand. The advantage was short-lived, though, as Frankie Kazarian sent Page off the top rope and the former champions worked over Omega.
The Cleaner made the hot tag to Page after several minutes of abuse, and he exploded into the match, feeding off a raucous reaction from the fans in Austin, Texas, as he pounded away at the challengers.
Sky and Kazarian brought the champions' momentum to a screeching halt thanks to an Omega slowed by abdominal pain and a missed Buckshot Lariat from Page. The champions recovered, delivered a Buckshot Lariat/V-Trigger combo to Kazarian and successfully retained the gold.
Page exited through the crowd, celebrating with a beer or two among the fans. Meanwhile, Dark Order, The Hybrid2, The Butcher and The Blade, Best Friends and The Young Bucks all hit the ring, sparking a brawl that concluded with Matt and Nick Jackson standing tall.
Omega and Page defeated SCU
This was the most cohesive we have seen Omega and Page to date, and they absolutely needed it in order to thwart the challenge of former champions Kazarian and Sky.
Their match was an action-packed way to kick off the show, and the crowd's growing love for the Page character may actually hurt his attempt at a full-blown heel turn if, and when, the time comes.
The post-match brawl featuring the AEW tag team division, most of which will be involved in the Battle Royal on next week's show, was a nice way to build heat for that match.
But the Bucks are so much more over than every other team on the roster that it is difficult to imagine any other tandem emerging from the bout with the win, especially given the way they have been weaved into the Omega-Page storyline in recent weeks.
Dustin Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara
Austin's own Dustin Rhodes battled Sammy Guevara in singles action, with the former looking to avenge a New Year's Day loss to The Inner Circle member thanks, in part, to Jake Hager's interference.
Rhodes took out weeks of frustration on The Spanish God, driving the heel into the mat as chants of "you've still got it" spilled from the stands.
A momentary distraction by Hager allowed Guevara to pull Rhodes off the ropes and deliver an inverted GTS. The Natural kicked out and countered consecutive attempts at top-rope offense. He answered with a Canadian Destroyer and finished his rival off with The Final Reckoning for an impressive win.
Afterward, Rhodes challenged "Jericho's b---h" Hager to a match at Revolution on February 29.
Rhodes defeated Guevara
Rhodes winning in front of his hometown crowd was a nice finish to a fine match, but why would management book Guevara to lose moments after Darby Allin challenged him to a bout at the pay-per-view in a pre-taped video prior to the match?
The loss devalues that fight, and Rhodes did not need the win to justify a match with Hager. If the idea was to give the second-generation wrestler the win in Austin, management easily could have achieved as much without sacrificing Guevara's credibility.
With all of that said, it is about time the Rhodes-Hager storyline pays off with a match, even if it took a bit too long to get there.
Britt Baker Disses Texas
Dr. Britt Baker joined Tony Schiavone for another heel promo in which she ran down the fans in Austin, drawing a "Whataburger" chant.
She claimed Nyla Rose and Riho are second to her while justifying her actions from a week ago, when she knocked out the teeth of Yuka Sakazaki following a brutal assault.
Baker ended by insulting the Texas crowd and exiting to the backstage area.
Baker’s promo featured a young performer growing into her own skin as a heel. It was arrogant, confident and drew considerable heat from a fanbase able to invest in her more as a villain than they did as a nondescript babyface.
Overall, it was an excellently produced promo and accomplished exactly what it set out to by further establishing Baker as the most hated member of the division.
AEW Women's Championship: Riho vs. Nyla Rose
On October 2, Riho defeated Nyla Rose to become the inaugural AEW women's champion. This week, the competitors met again, with The Native Beast seeking to dethrone her rival and take the title.
The resilient Riho took the fight to Rose from the onset of the match and delivered a baseball slide dropkick that prevented the challenger from utilizing one of her trademark tables.
During the break, Rose recovered and seized control of the match by using her size and power advantage to down the champion.
Rose withstood an attempted comeback by Riho and delivered the top-rope knee across the neck of her opponent. Her overconfidence cost her, though, as Riho kicked out of a laxed cover. The challenger answered with a second-rope Death Valley Driver, but the champion again shot her shoulder off the mat before the three-count.
Rose tried for Kenny Omega's One-Winged Angel, but Riho countered with consecutive snapdragon suplexes. She followed with successive double stomps, but the heel got her foot on the rope.
Rose recovered and delivered the Beast Bomb for the win and the title.
Rose defeated Riho to win the title
Realistically, Rose should have won the title in October. She has been the most consistent performer and has demonstrated the sort of chemistry with an array of opponents you would hope the first champion of a young division would have.
Furthermore, as a heel, she could have provided months of quality television as the unstoppable force babyfaces chased after.
As it is, she got her win here in another superb match between her and Riho. Like the match on the debut episode of Dynamite, false finishes and dramatic near-falls dominated. The crowd hung on each, and the result was a red-hot match that lived up to the lofty expectations set by their first encounter.
Jungle Boy vs. MJF
One week after delivering 10 punishing, humiliating lashes to the back and chest of Cody, MJF made his way to the ring for a singles match with Jungle Boy. Cody’s wife, Brandi Rhodes, sat in on commentary for the contest.
The young stars showcased athleticism early, but MJF earned the early advantage and deposited Jungle Boy to the ringside area ahead of the break.
The egotistical and entitled heel maintained control of the bout during the commercial but ate a big lariat clothesline shortly thereafter that allowed the babyface to mount a comeback.
A big Alabama Slam gave way to a submission attempt, but Jungle Boy countered into a roll-up for two. A powerbomb out of the corner earned the underdog babyface a second near-fall and brought about the return of Wardlow, who handed MJF a weapon.
The heel utilized it on his unsuspecting opponent and finished him off with the Double Cross for the win. After the match, Wardlow delivered a release airplane spin as Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt rushed the ring to check on their fallen comrade.
MJF defeated Jungle Boy
This was a nice showcase for two of the brighter young stars in AEW.
Jungle Boy never really stood a chance at a win given his opponent’s hot streak and the high-profile match with Cody that MJF has on the horizon, yet he still had fans believing he could somehow pull off the upset. That is a testament to his work as an underdog babyface and MJF’s contributions as the arrogant heel.
That Cody did not appear, selling the effects of the lashing from last week, was the right call and allows the angle time to breathe in anticipation of The American Nightmare’s steel cage match with Wardlow on next week’s show.
Jon Moxley vs. Santana
Three weeks ago, Chris Jericho sickeningly stabbed Jon Moxley in the eye with a spike from his jacket. The top contender to the AEW Championship returned the favor to one of Le Champion's associates, Santana. They clashed in the main event of the broadcast.
Santana and tag team partner Ortiz attacked Moxley during the antihero's entrance. Moxley fended them off and delivered a top-rope dive to the floor that wiped Santana out. The tag team specialist recovered and seized control heading into the final break of the evening.
Jericho, Hager and Guevara watched from a skybox as Santana dropped Moxley face-first into the middle turnbuckle, continuing to impress in a rare singles showing. A cutter furthered his success.
Moxley capitalized on a miscommunication spot and turned Santana inside out with a lariat clothesline. On the floor, Ortiz spit alcohol in the good eye of Moxley, leaving him blinded. A frog splash by Santana earned a two-count.
The commentary team put over Moxley's match next week against hot free agent Jeff Cobb as the No. 1 contender to the AEW champion raked at the eye of his opponent. Moxley delivered the Paradigm Shift and picked up the hard-fought victory.
Immediately after the bell, Ortiz attacked Moxley. The Inner Circle rushed the ring and beat Moxley down. The five-on-one attack left the victor in a heap and the Judas Effect by Jericho ended the assault.
Cobb made his AEW debut, delivered the Tour of the Islands and stood tall alongside the rest of the heels to close out the broadcast.
Moxley defeated Santana
Just when it looked like Moxley had The Inner Circle's number, Jericho introduced Cobb to the mix. The former Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling competitor is a great addition to the AEW roster, and his match with Mox on next week's show will be a hell of a fight.
Too much of a good thing can prove problematic, though.
With Cobb as the hired assassin, the muscle of The Inner Circle, where does that leave Hager? It wasn't all that long ago that the former world heavyweight champion appeared to be the silent assassin of the group. Does one faction really need two guys to fill the role?
Either way, the rivalry between Moxley and Jericho escalates with every passing week and this was no different. In an industry where it is difficult to keep fans interested with long gaps between high-profile PPV matches, AEW is succeeding by taking fresh and creative paths every week when it comes to its world title program.