AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reactions and Highlights from February 17
On the path to Revolution on March 7, All Elite Wrestling presented another jam-packed episode of Dynamite, headlined by championship clashes and a big Six-Man Tag Team Match featuring former world titleholder Jon Moxley.
Which feuds intensified, who earned momentum and how did the night's match card affect the company's top stories heading into the pay-per-view?
Find out now with this recap of the February 17 episode.
Announced for this week's show are:
- Jon Moxley, Lance Archer and Rey Fenix vs. Eddie Kingston, The Butcher and The Blade
- World Tag Team Championship Match: The Young Bucks vs. Santana and Ortiz
- Women's World Title Eliminator Tournament Round One: Serena Deeb vs. Riho
- Matt and Mike Sydal vs. FTR
- Hangman Page and Matt Hardy vs. The Hybrid 2
- Orange Cassidy vs. Luther
Coverage begins at 8:00 p.m.
Hangman Page and Matt Hardy vs. TCredt
Matt Hardy continued his attempts to form a partnership with Hangman Page, teaming with him to battle The Hybrid 2's Jack Evans and Angelico.
The heels, needing a win to stay relevant in the tag team title picture, attacked from the opening bell and spent a significant period of time working over Hardy in their corner of the ring. They beat him down, cut him off from Page, and looked to score an upset victory.
Hardy created separation and tagged in Page, who exploded into the ring and dropped Angelico. He added a powerbomb to Evans, onto the fallen Angelico, only for Hardy to tag himself back into the match.
The future Hall of Famer nearly lost the match for his team after a miscommunication spot and Phoenix Splash from Evans. Hardy kicked out, though and Page delivered a double Buckshot Lariat. In typical Hardy fashion, Big Money Matt scored the win for the team.
After the match, Hardy insinuated that Page had signed with him. Hangman turned the tables on him, calling the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot to the ring with the contract he signed. Hardy read it, revealing that he will have a match against Page at Revolution and if Hangman wins, he gets 100-percent of Hardy's first-quarter earnings.
Hardy requested Page put the same on the line, to which the resident cowboy agreed. The mascot attacked Page, revealing himself to be Isiah Kassidy. TH2 joined in on the beatdown of Page until The Dark Order made the save. Page teased joining the group to end the segment.
Page and Hardy defeated TH2
Page calling Hardy on his money-grubbing ways and setting up a pay-per-view match was a nice touch. The Dark Order coming to his aid, thus showing him who his real friends are, was even better.
The match itself was fine for what it was, even if it was uncharacteristically one-dimensional despite the talent involved. Hardy played the role of weak link who steals the win anyway to perfection while Page continued to portray the explosive babyface excellently.
There is the argument to be made that Page should be doing something further up the card but he has been golden in anything he has done since the start of AEW and he is owning this story. The minute he embraces The Dark Order will be a magical one for both him and the faction, thanks to the slow-burn the company has executed to this point.
Women's World Title Eliminator Match: RIho vs. Serena Deeb
For the first time in over a year, Riho returned to the company she previously championed for her Women’s World Title Eliminator match against NWA women’s champion Serena Deeb.
Grappling and counter-wrestling dominated the opening minutes of the match, with Riho targeting the injured knee of Deeb. The NWA champion answered, catching Riho’s attempted 619 and bringing her throat across the ropes heading into the break.
Deeb dominated the action throughout the break, working the head and neck and scoring a near-fall. The veteran competitor applied a Guerrero Special, then turned it into a torturous pinning combination for a series of two counts.
Riho recovered and delivered a big snapdragon suplex to create some separation and halt Deeb’s momentum. The Japanese competitor withstood a series of furious uppercuts and escaped a brainbuster attempt when Deeb’s knee gave out.
Serena targeted the left knee, looking for a Figure Four. A dragon screw leg whip out of the corner followed and a swinging neckbreaker put Riho down for a near-fall. Riho targeted her opponent’s injured knee and delivered a double stomp to the spine. A crossbody from the top rope earned her a two-count.
Deeb delivered another dragon screw, planted her opponent with a powerbomb and applied a stretch muffler. Riho countered with a small package rollup. She added another double stomp, but Deeb kicked out. A series of late-match pin attempts culminated with a rollup from Riho for the hard-fought victory.
Riho defeated Deeb
This was a pay-per-view quality match and a damn good one at that.
The counter-wrestling and drama late helped elevate it, particularly as the live crowd bought into every false finish. Throw in tenacity and physicality we had not yet seen out of Deeb and you have the ingredients of a Match of the Year candidate. Add two master chefs and the finished result was simply phenomenal.
Riho hardly missed a beat, returning to form and stealing this show while Deeb continued to remind fans why she is one of the most underrated in-ring performers in the industry, regardless of gender. Hopefully, her semi-push continues beyond this tournament because she has been nothing short of superb since joining the AEW women’s division.
Orange Cassidy vs. Luther
Orange Cassidy returned to in-ring competition for the first time since joining Chuck Taylor to ruin the wedding of Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian, battling Luther.
In what amounted to a sprint of a match, Cassidy battled Luther to the floor, leaving Taylor to drop Serpentico in the ring and prevent the masked heel from interfering.
Back inside the squared circle, Cassidy rocked Luther with Orange Punch for the win.
Cassidy defeated Luther
This was certainly a match that happened.
If anything, it was a reminder that Cassidy is a wrestler and Taylor is now free.
Otherwise, this was a squash match whose only purpose was to, potentially, set up a tag team match between Best Friends and Chaos Project.
Team Taz Attacks Sting
Team Taz, minus a few key members due to weather and travel, hit the ring.
The leader of the team, the Human Suplex Machine himself, addressed Sting. He called The Icon out and the face-painted vigilante of AEW made his way to the ring.
Upon the insistence by Taz that he needed his baseball bat to confront him, son Hook and Brian Cage, Sting tossed the weapon down.
The numbers game eventually proved insurmountable and Cage flattened Sting with a powerbomb.
The wrestling world held its collective breath as Sting hit the mat in his first bump since Night of Champions 2015, when he suffered his initial spine injury.
Luckily, he looked to be relatively ok as he sold the effects of the beatdown.
From a booking perspective, the attack proved that apart, Sting and Darby Allin cannot compete with Team Taz. If the heels can isolate them, they can ruin Sting’s return to the squared circle on March 7.
In that regard, it was well done. The lack of key players, including Allin, Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs, dragged it down just a bit.
AEW Tag Team Championship Match: Young Bucks vs. Santana and Ortiz
Santana and Ortiz challenged The Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championships as turmoil within The Inner Circle raged on.
The challengers controlled early but the referee caught attempted interference from MJF and tossed the whole faction from ringside, leaving the challengers to go it alone against Matt and Nick Jackson. It was no problem for the challengers, who isolated Nick throughout the commercial break.
The dynamic Nick finally rocked Santana and made the tag to Matt, who exploded into the match with considerable energy, laying into anyone within reach. The heels recovered and cut off More Bang For Your Buck.
Santana delivered a big Falcon Arrow from the top rope, but could not keep the opposition down.
Ortiz trapped Nick in a submission, looking for a tapout. The champion held on long enough for Matt to drop an elbow to on Ortiz and break the hold. Recovered, the Bucks teamed up for Doomsday Device on Santana, then rocked him with stereo superkicks.
Santana dodged the BTE Trigger, then joined Ortiz for the Street Sweeper to Nick. Matt broke the pin attempt up at the very last second. Santana and Ortiz repaid him, powerbombing him into the audience. Back inside, Nick scored the win off a small package on Ortiz.
After the match, The Inner Circle attacked the Bucks, laying them out while the champions’ best friends Kenny Omega, The Good Brothers and Don Callis watched on a monitor. Brandon Cutler attempted the save but got beat down until Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson chased the heels off.
The Bucks defeated Santana and Ortiz
The streak of great matches continued with this, as Santana and Ortiz reminded fans of their excellence and the Bucks crafted another extraordinarily dramatic match.
The biggest takeaway from this one was MJF getting himself and The Inner Circle kicked out so Santana and Ortiz could not benefit. It was the latest in the loudmouth egotist’s plan to systematically pick apart the faction from the inside.
Also of note is that Jericho and MJF forced a submission out of the Bucks, perhaps hinting at Matt and Nick’s future. They will likely clash at Revolution.
The question is whether The Inner Circle can survive until then or not.
Matt and Mike Sydal vs. FTR
Matt and Mike Sydal made their first appearance as a team this week, but faced the former tag champions FTR in their first venture into the division.
The lightning-quick siblings kept Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood off-guard early but the heels downed the lesser experienced Mike and worked him over.
A hot tag to Matt sparked a comeback but fell short as Mike re-entered the match and fell prey to the Big Rig as FTR picked up a hard-fought victory.
After the match, Harwood and Wheeler teased cutting Mike’s hair until the lights went out and Jurassic Express appeared, avenging the assault on Luchasaurus. Jungle Boy trapped Harwood in the Snare Trap while Luchasaurus flattened Wheeler.
FTR defeated The Sydals
Mike was the least-experienced wrestler in this match and it showed. The effort was there but there were more than a few disjointed spots and an injury scare at one point that Cody Rhodes referenced on commentary.
Jurassic Express avenging the beatdown from a few weeks ago was necessary while a match between them and FTR appears a certainty, perhaps as soon as Revolution. Given previous encounters, it has the potential to steal the show and enhance an already loaded tag division.
Jon Moxley, Rey Fenix and Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston, Butcher and Blade
A wild Six-Man Tag Team Match capped off Wednesday's event as Jon Moxley, Lance Archer and Rey Fenix battled Eddie Kingston, The Butcher and The Blade.
The heels beat down the massive Archer, working him over until The Murderhawk Monster wiped Butcher and Blade out with a crossbody and made the tag. Action broke down, culminating in Archer wiping the heels out with a big dive.
Eventually, Moxley and Kingston squared off, renewing their rivalry.
Kingston rocked Moxley with a back fist but the former world champion recovered and finished him with the Paradigm Shift to earn the win for his team.
After the match, The Good Brothers attacked Moxley in time for Kenny Omega to appear and lay down the challenge for an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. The world champ blasted Moxley with a V-Trigger and left him lying to close out the show.
Moxley, Archer and Fenix defeated Butcher, Blade and Kingston
Moxley and Kingston keeping their rivalry alive, while the commentary team speculated that the former AEW champion wants to regain a friendship with him, was excellent. Their encounters are so emotionally intense and deliver such a realism that it's impossible not to get sucked into what they are doing.
The call-backs, including the bulldog choke, were nice touches.
Archer was a total badass, Fenix his high-flying self and Butcher and Blade were very much the glue that helped hold this one together.
The post-match beatdown and the announcement of the Revolution main event were fine but that gimmick match feels way overdone. Their first pay-per-view main event was obscenely violent, to the extent that it was comical. Omega breaking out that stipulation threatens to turn what should be an extraordinary match into a caricature.
The performers and fans alike both deserve better than that.