AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 10February 11, 2021
AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 10
The Women's Eliminator tournament officially began with this week's episode of Dynamite as Thunder Rosa took on "Legit" Leyla Hirsch in a first-round matchup.
Following Kenta's shocking arrival on last week's show, the New Japan Pro-Wrestling star made his Dynamite debut when he teamed up with AEW World champion Kenny Omega to take on NJPW United States champion Jon Moxley and Lance Archer.
Before they face The Young Bucks for the AEW tag titles at Revolution on March 7, Chris Jericho and MJF worked on their tag team chemistry in a match with The Acclaimed.
We also saw Pac take on Ryan Nemeth, Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson battle Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi, and Darby Allin defend the TNT Championship against Joey Janela.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's episode of AEW Dynamite.
Darby Allin vs. Joey Janela (TNT Championship)
Dynamite opened with Janela making his entrance for his TNT title match against Allin. The small crowd sounded bigger than usual as it cheered for the challenger.
They locked up, and The Bad Boy applied a waistlock. Allin backed him to the corner for a clean break but got in Janela's face for a second. Janela was not impressed. The champ put him in a hammerlock and kept it on after a few attempts at a counter.
Janela backed him to the corner and hit a back elbow to break the hold. Allin popped up and hit a springboard arm drag followed by a dropkick. Janela dropped him on the apron and hit a suicide dive.
Janela slowed the pace down and applied a submission on the mat. He took Allin down with a double ax handle from the top rope, but when he went back up, Allin yanked him down by his arm. He worked over Janela's arm a bit before driving him into the barricade with a huge suicide dive.
The Bad Boy caught Allin in midair for an impressive German suplex. They went back and forth with quick counters until Janela hit a piledriver for a two-count. Allin recovered and hit the Coffin Drop for the win.
This was Janela's best match in AEW to date. He looked more technically sound than he ever has, but Allin's contributions cannot be ignored. Both men worked hard to make this an entertaining opener.
Were there a few sloppy moments? Yes, but that comes with any match that keeps the kind of pace this one had. They barely slowed down from the moment the bell rang until the ref counted to three.
Unfortunately, the quick pace led to certain big moves not being sold enough. A code red from the top rope and a piledriver are moves people use as finishers. They shouldn't be sold like a simple body slam.
Even with those criticisms, this bout was fun and engaging. This is the match that could get Janela put into regular rotation on Dynamite.
Cody and Lee Johnson vs. Peter Avalon and Cezar Bononi
After Cody defeated Avalon in a singles match recently, The American Nightmare teamed up with Johnson to take on Pretty Peter and Bononi.
Cody went right after Avalon and stomped him to the mat before he brought in Johnson. Bononi made a blind tag and took out Johnson from behind with a clothesline. The heels began to work the Nightmare Factory alum over, but he turned things around and hit an impressive dropkick.
Cody tagged in, but Bononi overpowered him with an overhead slam. We returned from a break to see the heels controlling the pace. Cody caught Avalon in a dive and slammed him. Johnson tagged in and hit a flurry of moves to both Superstars.
Johnson was able to avoid Avalon's finisher and rolled him up for the pin.
The pace in this match was faster than it needed to be, so this bout ended up suffering from a bigger lack of selling than the opening bout.
Johnson looked good getting his first win on Dynamite. He was crisp and kept up with more seasoned wrestlers. He was breathing heavily during his post-match interview, but that does not necessarily mean the match blew him up.
Sometimes, AEW tries to make every match a show-stealer when something a little more traditional would serve the stars in the ring in a better way.
Pac vs. Ryan Nemeth
After a backstage segment with Hangman Page, Matt Hardy and The Dark Order, Pac made his way out to battle Nemeth. It looked like they would have a clean start before Pac took him down with a few kicks.
The Bastard hit a snap suplex and a running uppercut. Nemeth struggled to his feet before a missile dropkick took him right back down.
Nemeth came back with a Dolph Ziggler-style snap DDT, but Pac rolled out of the ring to avoid the pin. When Nemeth tried to follow, he was sent into the barricade. Pac stomped Nemeth into oblivion before hitting the Black Arrow. He immediately transitioned into the Brutalizer for the win.
This match was designed solely to make Pac look dangerous, and in that regard, the bout accomplished its goal. Pac looked dominant, and Nemeth sold well to make him look even better.
Nemeth is the younger brother of Ziggler, and he both moves and looks like him, so comparisons are going to be made until he finds a way to stand out on his own. That said, he looked good here.
This was the third match of the night that did not feature interference of any kind. It makes it clear AEW was relying on that trope too much in recent months.
The Acclaimed vs. MJF and Chris Jericho
Sammy Guevara had a backstage confrontation that ended with Guevara punching MJF in the gut. Before this match, MJF told Jericho what happened and had his ribs taped up as if they were broken.
Anthony Bowens and Max Caster looked confident on their way to the ring. MJF started the match against Caster but quickly tagged out to Jericho. Caster took down the veteran with a shoulder tackle and tagged in Bowens for a double-team.
MJF came back in and Bowens dropped him right on his face and upper body for a near-fall. Y2J and his BFF took control as the show went to a break. We returned to see The Inner Circle members using a classic leverage technique in the corner until Aubrey Edwards caught them cheating.
After Caster broke free, Bowens and Jericho tagged in and had a nice exchange. Bowens picked up MJF and drove him to the mat. He knocked Ortiz off the apron. While the ref was distracted, Caster hit Jericho with his boom box for a two-count.
Jake Hager pushed Caster off the top turnbuckle, allowing Jericho to hit the Judas Effect for the win. Guevara came out after it was over and quit The Inner Circle.
This match had a much better pace than the previous tag team encounter. They slowed down when they needed to and sold for each other when they needed to.
MJF and Jericho used some classic heel cheats during this bout that haven't been common in years. It was a fun throwback. As always, MJF played his role brilliantly.
The Acclaimed has a lot of talent, but Caster and Bowens still have a little work to do on some of the basics before they are ready for the tag title scene.
Guevara quitting the stable was predictable but necessary for this storyline to move forward. MJF's master plan is slowly starting to unfold.
Leyla Hirsch vs. Thunder Rosa
The first match in the Women's Eliminator tournament took place this week with Hirsch taking on Thunder Rosa. The former NWA women's champion gave a promo before the match saying she wanted both the AEW and NWA women's titles.
They locked up and wrestled on the mat until they came to a stalemate and reset. Hirsch showed off some of her amateur wrestling skills as she worked over Rosa's arm and hit a suplex.
Rosa hit a body slam and a running senton for a two-count. Hirsch hit a nice hurricanrana that sent Rosa out of the ring, and she followed that up with a suicide dive. Rosa recovered, but Hirsch almost locked her in an armbar.
We returned from a break to see Rosa building some momentum. She nailed a low dropkick in the corner, but Hirsch kicked out at two. Legit Leyla executed a few throws and a crossbody for another two-count.
Rosa avoided a moonsault to regain the upper hand and hit her finisher to pick up the win and advance to the second round.
Other than two or three moments where it looked like there was a timing issue, these two women put on the best match of the night up to this point.
Hirsch's technical ability combined with Rosa's unique style to create a great performance. They had great chemistry, and it would be nice to see them get a chance for a rematch down the line.
Hirsch is still new to AEW and has time to establish herself. Even with the losses she has suffered, she has looked impressive in each outing. It wouldn't be surprising to see her get a push at some point.
KENTA and Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley and Lance Archer (Falls Count Anywhere)
Omega was shown golfing earlier in the day, and he told Alex Marvez that he was the best of all time and didn't need to prepare for his match like most wrestlers.
Kenta hit Moxley with his IWGP U.S title shot briefcase right after the bell. He tried to do the same thing to Archer, but the big man showed no signs of pain. Omega helped Kenta take down both opponents.
Kenta shoved Omega out of the way so he could stomp on Mox, and it led to a brief argument. Archer ran over Omega, and Moxley turned Kenta inside out with a clothesline. Omega used a trash can as a weapon and inflicted extra damage with it during a moonsault.
Archer and Omega fought into the crowd area during the break. Kenta hit Avalon with a GTS when he got in his way. Archer sent Omega into a heart-shaped bed Avalon keeps at ringside for some reason. Moxley rejoined the fight and got a near-fall on Kenta.
Moxley and Kenta took the fight into the kitchen area backstage where the IWGP U.S. champ took a DDT on top of a metal table. It took a few minutes for everybody to make it back to the ringside area. Kenta tried to put Moxley through a table with a double stomp, but the table didn't break.
Archer chokeslammed Omega and walked across the top rope to hit a moonsault for a two-count. The Good Brothers came out and attacked Archer and Jake Roberts. Moxley came in with a barbed-wire bat to take out the interlopers.
Omega hit Archer with a V-Trigger, but he needed help to get him up for the One-Winged Angel. He hit the move and got the pin.
For some strange reason, AEW decided to air a recap of the first half of the match at the halfway point instead of sticking with the action. It took some of the momentum away from the wrestlers.
As fun as all of the mayhem was, this match was overbooked. If you do everything in the first encounter, it doesn't leave anywhere for these guys to go in the future.
The relationship with AEW and NJPW should excite fans because it means we will get to see stars like Kenta more often. He looked great in this match and came off like a legit contender, which is something WWE never managed to pull off with his character.
This was an entertaining fight, but it got to a point where they were just doing things for the sake of doing them. This is a rare instance where a match would have been better with five fewer minutes.