AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 20
As with every week, All Elite Wrestling announced a stacked lineup for Wednesday's Dynamite, but this week's show was a little different because AEW held a birthday party for Brodie Lee Jr.
The way AEW has continued to support Jon Huber's family has been amazing, and to see the company continue to feature his son so prominently is heartwarming.
This week also featured Cody Rhodes taking on Pretty Peter Avalon in a match The American Nightmare claimed would take him less than a minute to win.
The Inner Circle took its first step toward exploding this week with a three-way tag team match to determine which duo would be the official tag team of the group. Santana and Ortiz teamed up to take on the pairing of Chris Jericho and MJF, while Sammy Guevara tagged with Jake Hager.
Big Money Matt Hardy tried to earn a winning paycheck with Private Party when they took on Top Flight and Matt Sydal. In the women's division, Penelope Ford battled Legit Leyla Hirsch.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's episode of AEW Dynamite.
Happy Birthday Brodie Lee Jr. and Dark Order vs. TH2 and Chaos Project
Brodie Jr. came out on the shoulders of No. 10 to celebrate his birthday on the stage with the entire Dark Order organization. His mom and brother could be seen cheering in the crowd.
John Silver hyped the possibility of Adam Page joining The Dark Order before he led a rendition of the "Happy Birthday" song for -1. Luther and Serpentico came out to voice their displeasure.
TH2 joined them and fought The Dark Order until Hangman came out and hit a huge dive onto everyone. Silver, Hangman, Colt Cabana and Alex Reynolds got in the ring to battle TH2 and Chaos Project in the first match of the night.
What followed was a series of tags at regular intervals, double-team moves and the occasional save by a teammate. Cabana ended up putting Luther's face into the cake while Silver and Reynolds scored the win over Serpentico.
Brodie Jr. hit Serpentico with a kendo stick and then called everyone idiots when he told them his birthday was three days ago. Silver asked Page if he was ready to join The Dark Order, but Page said he couldn't. He said his last group didn't work out but he has had fun hanging out with them.
Page grabbed a bottle of booze from Stu Grayson and walked to the back.
The first thing we need to make clear is that the grade applies only to the match. The segment with Brodie Jr. celebrating his birthday was not done to be a legitimate angle, so there is no need to treat it as such. Luther saying he didn't like kids should have been enough for anyone to see that this was just meant to be a fun moment for -1.
Most of the match was structured in such a way that everyone was able to come in for a minute and get in a few moves. It was way too scheduled to look like a competitive fight.
The ending was comedic in nature, as was most of the match. The birthday stuff was nice for Huber's family, but the match itself was too quick for an eight-man tag bout. It was what it was.
Hangman turning down The Dark Order was a predictable outcome, but it will be interesting to see if this is the end of it or if the group continues to pursue him.
Cody vs. Peter Avalon
Don Callis had a conversation with The Young Bucks in Kenny Omega's house and told them they are holding Omega back. It ended with what appeared to be an attack by The Bucks.
Back in the arena, Pretty Peter Avalon made his way to the ring to battle Cody. The announcers made sure to mention that Avalon has been on a winning streak on AEW Dark.
Avalon ran right into Cody's arms and went down to the Cross Rhodes. Before Cody could make the cover, Jade Cargill came out and stood on the stage. Avalon hit a low blow while the ref had his back turned and started working over Cody's knee.
The American Nightmare turned the tables in the corner, but Avalon was able to hit a big superplex. They fought outside the ring for a bit before Pretty Peter hit a vertical suplex for a quick one-count.
After a commercial break, Avalon missed a moonsault. They missed a leapfrog but recovered quickly, and Avalon hit a suicide dive. Cody hit a cutter out of nowhere to start his comeback. Avalon ended up tapping out to a Figure-Four but only because Cody was going to slap him in the face.
Cody said he would win this match in less than a minute, but a distraction from Cargill to further that storyline allowed Avalon to have a good showing against one of AEW's top stars.
Avalon is a decent hand who has been getting more opportunities lately on Dark. His original librarian gimmick was awful, but his new one still needs work.
Cargill showing up and then leaving didn't make a lot of sense. She should have stayed to watch the rest of the match and taunt Cody from the stage.
The match was decent, but the comedic ending wasn't as good as it would have been had Avalon fought hard but been forced to tap out. The threat of a slap to the face being the thing that beat him took the grade down a bit.
Jon Moxley vs. Nick Comoroto
Nick Comoroto got a chance to perform on a national stage this week, but he had the unenviable task of taking on a fresh and angry Jon Moxley.
The Nightmare Factory student had a significant size and power advantage, but an early headbutt gave Mox the upper hand. Comoroto hit a body slam as QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes watched from the crowd.
The big man hit a few power moves but couldn't score the pin. He lined up to hit Moxley in the corner, but the former AEW champion avoided the hit and uncorked some stiff kicks to the chest.
Mox hit a German suplex and applied a sleeper hold to get the win. He gave a promo directed at Omega and said it would be sweet when he regains the AEW title.
This was a solid debut for Comoroto. He looked good and got in some nice offense before Moxley put him to sleep at the end.
Moxley had to fight for the victory, but he still did it in one segment, so he managed to look dominant and give his opponent a chance to shine at the same time.
This wasn't a memorable match, but compared to the first two, it was a step up. Let's hope Comoroto shows up again because he had a good look and the potential to be another good powerhouse for AEW.
Private Party and Matt Hardy vs. Top Flight and Matt Sydal
Marq Quen, Isiah Kassidy and Hardy were out to take on Sydal, Darius and Dante Martin. Dante and Quen started for their teams and shook hands to show some sportsmanship.
Sydal tagged in and hit a kick after a triple leapfrog. Sydal had to remind one of his partners that he was the legal man when they went for a pin.
Quen and Kassidy turned things around as the show went to a break. We returned to see Kassidy holding Sydal down in a headlock.
Hardy got the tag and went on a rampage against all three opponents. Kassidy used a chair while Hardy distracted the ref. Quen took advantage and hit a shooting star press for the win.
Top Flight is good at hitting some exciting double-team moves, but there are certain things it needs to work on if it wants to be an important team in AEW.
Not knowing who the legal man is in a match is a rookie mistake that you don't see from the more seasoned teams in the company, and it served as a reminder of how young Darius and Dante are.
The match had a decent flow, but it had a few too many sloppy moments to make either team look good. Even Private Party messed up a couple of spots.
A lot of fans probably enjoyed this, but from a technical standpoint, it left a lot to be desired.
Penelope Ford vs. Leyla Hirsch
Miro, Chuck Taylor and Kip Sabian accompanied Ford for her match against Hirsch. They locked up and Hirsch showed off some of her technical ability by taking Ford down and rolling her around the mat.
Ford knocked her down with a shoulder tackle, but Hirsch skipped up and brought her down into an armbar. Ford got her foot on the rope to force a break. Hirsch confronted Sabian, and it gave Ford an opportunity to hit a pump kick.
After the break, Hirsch regained the upper hand and hit a nice German suplex. Ford tripped her on the middle turnbuckle but missed an ax kick. Hirsch dove out of the ring onto Taylor and Sabian, but once again, turning her attention away from Ford was her undoing. Sabian held her foot while Ford covered her for the pin.
Hirsch has impressed with every appearance she has made in AEW. She has a level of technical ability that only comes from years of amateur wrestling.
Ford is always fun to watch, but she kept her gymnastic moves to a minimum in this bout because Hirsch dominated so much of the action.
The stuff with Taylor and Miro was fine if a little flat. Orange Cassidy's presence added nothing because he had no reaction to Taylor being forced to say Miro was his best friend now.
MJF and Chris Jericho vs. Santana and Ortiz vs. Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager
The main event of the night saw the entire Inner Circle compete as three separate teams to see which duo would get to challenge for the AEW tag team titles. MJF was shown trying to play both sides earlier in the show.
After an initial showdown between Guevara and MJF, Jericho tagged in to face his former partner. Y2J wanted to have a good exchange, but Guevara was looking to make a statement.
Hager nailed Jericho with a big right hand after Guevara sent him to the corner. Jericho tagged out to Santana while Hager tagged himself in to take him on. Santana took control and brought in Ortiz for a quick double-team.
MJF finally tagged into the match only for Hager to run him over. The MMA fighter brought Guevara back in so he could hit a springboard cutter. Ortiz tagged himself in, but Guevara kept the upper hand.
Hager stopped Jericho from using his bat and MJF from using his ring. Everybody took turns hitting big moves on each other until MJF rolled up Guevara with a handful of trunks for the pin.
This storyline has a lot of sub-stories that were all addressed during this match. They packed a lot into about 15 minutes but did it in a way that made sense.
This was a fun match that showed how ahead of everyone else Santana and Ortiz are when it comes to the chemistry they have as a team. They were the only duo using classic tag team strategies while everybody else just tried to blend their own stuff together to no avail.
This would have gotten a higher grade, but there was a couple of obvious mistakes that stood out. Other than those minor missteps, this was an entertaining main event.