Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite: We saw you on the Jericho Cruise with new AEW Tag Team Champions, Britt Baker heeling on Tony Schiavone for being a “shitty barista,” and MJF getting tossed into a swimming pool. On a boat!
If you’d like to keep up with this column and its thinly veiled Best and Worst format, you can keep tabs on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite tag page. Elle Collins is also covering AEW Dark for us, and you can keep track of all things All Elite here.
And now, the Ins and Outs of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite: The Mistake By The Jake (Hager), originally aired on January 29, 2020.
All In: Nick Fury, Agent Of The Shield
This week’s show opens with the Crow’s Eye, Jon Moxley, arriving at the Kingsmoot to declare himself the rightful king of All Elite Wrestling. It’s a stellar piece of business that references and contextualizes recent events — Moxley getting stabbed in the eye with a spike, Dustin Rhodes getting his arm broken in a car door, and Cody Rhodes getting his “face maimed” (even though that was totally not Jericho’s fault) — as well as events from their past lives in WWE that folks might remember. Jericho stealing Rey Mysterio’s mask and knocking out Whisper of the Nitro Girls (also not really his fault) get namedropped, and I sink into a wrestling show remembering and utilizing the known history of its performers like most people sink into a warm bath. So good.
I will note, though, that it’s funny to hear Jon Moxley reference past WWE events and say Jericho’s the kind of person who orchestrates gang beatdowns like he himself isn’t famously a member of a militant mercenary group that spent years beating down people 3-on-1. Moxley saying he’s “not a role model” doesn’t really explain that, but it is what it is. The accepted truth for most wrestling fans is that 3-on-1 beatdowns are morally acceptable if you like the people doing them.
This brings out Chris Jericho in a sparkly red jacket with one button hanging on for dear life. Jericho plays on Moxley’s impulsiveness and willingness to get hit 10 times to hit somebody once by goading him into a fight, then bringing out the entire Inner Circle to back him up. He the introduces five additional random gang members corralled by Santana and Ortiz for the benefit of this 10-on-1 beatdown. The highlight here is the thugs being summoned by “HOOTIE HOO,” confirming that Santana and Ortiz are No Limit Soldiers and that the legacy of World Championship Wrestling continues on AEW Dynamite. Hangman Page needs to organize a group of country and western guys who think rap is, and I cannot stress this enough, crap.
The actual confrontation makes Moxley look great, as he chooses to stand up to 10 men knowing it’s a stupid decision that will likely get him destroyed, but that it’s a decision he has to make because of his pride and honor. He’s not just jumping into it because he’s a babyface dumbass. Moxley referencing this (“I’m crazy and I’m stupid, right?”) confirms it. Jericho knows Moxley’s going to make this call for one reason or another, too, so he ensures it with some rampant “your mama” talk, and brings in as many dudes as possible to make the beatdown as devastating as possible. It’s smart from both sides, with Jericho believing until the very end that he has the checkmate, and Moxley surviving because of AEW security, and the security of the Ohio fans that love him. O-H!
At the end of the night, Jericho (wearing the bandana he got as part of his Boricua gift basket during the Thanksgiving Celebration for Le Champion back in November) and the Inner Circle come out on top in a competitive trios match against Darby Allin and Private Party, who we’re gonna call Dead Man’s Party*. Isiah Kassidy deserves an Academy Award for the job he did selling the Judas Effect. He not only immediately dies, but goes full D-Von Dudley with a CONCERNING ARM TWITCH. It’s so good.
After the match, the Inner Circle decide to do Inner Circle things and beat up their opponents for no reason. Sammy Guevara volunteers to take Jericho’s spot for the killing blow on the living half of Darby Allin, opting to hit him with his own skateboard and then try to destroy the kid’s windpipe with it in a moment I’m almost certain will lead to an extended Guevara/Allin feud. If it doesn’t, they’re crazy. Those matches would own. But yeah, this ultimately brings out THE VIGILANTE JON MOXLEY with a Sting-style baseball bat to fight off the entire group by himself and send them packing. WCW rules state that no matter how big a group of assailants is, a baseball bat instantly levels the playing field. IT’S THE LAW.
Fantastic stuff all around this week.
*h/t to UPROXX reader SexCauldron for that joke
All In: The Doctor Is In(considerate)
Speaking of fantastic stuff, this week’s major highlight has to be Dr. Britt Baker continuing her “shitty barista” presentation from last week to show up looking like a secondary wife character on The Sopranos to make sure everyone addresses her properly — she didn’t spend four years in Evil Dental School to be called “Britt” — and continue bagging on the announce team.
This week she tells Tony Schiavone he’s got moderate-to-severe generalized gingivitis (lol) and goes, pardon the phrase, ALL IN on Jim Ross, shading him for saddling her with the “she’s a dentist” joke because it’s all he talks about when she’s in the ring. That’s brilliant, I think. It really is the job of the announcers to provide a more rounded view of the competitors, and they just hit “dentist” until it was a meme. She also chides him for collecting a big paycheck while the younger wrestlers he pretentiously shits on do all the work, and calls him a, “sloppy barbecue sauce sales rep who cant even get our roster’s names straight.” I mean, where’s the lie?
She then gets a mic drop line by saying she’s finally given Cleveland a “Baker they can believe in.” Britt woke up feeling DANGEROUS. I don’t know how they turned their worst ongoing character into their best in like three weeks, but I love them for doing it.
Surprised This Wasn’t On Dark: Big Swole Vs. Nyla Rose
Somewhere in the middle of the show we get AEW Dark Superstar Big Swole against Nyla Rose, most recently seen hanging Sadie Gibbs all the way the fuck out to dry on a Space Flying Tiger Drop. This was pretty rough at times, and although I think Swole’s still got a tremendous upside, I’m starting to think Nyla Rose is regressing. I’m not sure she’s ready for the Awesome Kong spot on the roster (especially since Awesome Kong herself doesn’t seem to be healthy enough to be the Awesome Kong of the roster, and may or may not be getting written off the show on this week’s Dark), at least not from an in-ring standpoint. The early stuff with Riho was good, but I think that might’ve been the dynamic of an underdog vs. a bully monster working so tremendously. Maybe it played better on TV than it did live.
I talked to our own Elle Collins about it and really appreciated their point of view, so I waned to share it here, with permission:
“I have not been impressed with Nyla’s work lately, and I think it’s a shame. Because it shouldn’t be on her to be a perfect wrestler just because her identity is more marginalized. Lots of people of limited skill get pushed because they’re big. But there’s just no way to avoid that extra level of scrutiny. And I think there’s also another added level of scrutiny because AEW only does one women’s match a week, so you don’t get some impressive joshi stuff to balance out a match like that.
So I wish Nyla was a better wrestler, but I also think if AEW was better at presenting their women, it would be less of an issue regardless.”
All In: The Kobe Tribute
The death of Kobe Bryant is an impossibly tragic story that reminds us life is short, lives are complicated, Twitter is a real-time cruelty machine. WWE did a nice tribute to Bryant at the Royal Rumble, and AEW does their own with SCU showing up in Kobe jerseys. Kobe Bryant didn’t have anything to do with professional wrestling, but when you’re a part of pop culture and you lose one of those iconic names everybody’s known and had as a tangential part of their lives for decades, you feel like you need to address it.
They dedicate their match to Kobe, and luckily are up against the Hybrid 2, which means of course they win. The 2 get their own tribute to a performer gone far too soon: AAA’s La Parka. They have half-skeleton gear and do some Parka dancing on their way to the ring. Here’s Angelico doing La Parka II’s signature dance in the ring, in case you aren’t familiar.
Life is sad, and wrestling makes it a little better.
All In: This Week On Being The Elite
There’s a LOT going on in this Cody Rhodes vs. Kip Sabian match. Like, a whole lot.
At one point in the match, Penelope Ford throws her shoe into the ring. Referee Bryce Remsberg sees her do it, throws the shoe of out of the ring in Coach Arn Anderson’s direction, and counts a pin. When Sabian kicks out (kips out?), Bryce turns back to Arn and is like, “WAIT A MINUTE, DID YOU THROW THAT SHOE INTO THE RING?” Arn is so mad about this that he gets up onto the ring apron and then into the ring, presumably to ask Bryce when the hell ARN ANDERSON would’ve started wearing tiny sparkly women’s boots. ESPECIALLY when Bryce was looking directly at Ford when she threw the shoe into the ring. Arn “bumps” Bryce like an MLB head coach and gets ejected. Do … do you think this is one of those things that looked really good on paper, but missed out on some big logical questions like, “why would the referee think Arn Anderson would throw a woman’s boot into the ring to try to break up his own guy’s pinfall attempt?” Maybe I’m missing something. At least it’s a new meaning for the phrase, “referee bump.”
Because AEW referees have no spatial reasoning and can be distracted by shiny objects or literally nothing, Sabian distracts Bryce so Penelope Ford can attack Cody. Sabian dives out onto Cody himself, and then a kiss is interrupted by a suddenly occurring Joey Janela, who I guess was … crouching in that corner at ringside waiting for this to happen, because he knew Arn’s ejection would cause Ford to hit a headscissors on the ramp side and then bring out Kip and they’d try to kiss right there?
Cody’s able to recover and counter Kip Sabian’s Harry Potter-themed finisher with the Cody Cutter, prompting the call of “SPRUNGBOARDING OFF THE ROPES” from JR. Cody then goes into match saving mode and hits three (3) Cross Rhodes for the MURDER DEATH KILL finish. Kip’s the kind of character I wouldn’t trust to win a match against Gallus on NXT UK, much less Cody Rhodes on Dynamite. Probably Cody’s weakest AEW match ever, but due almost exclusively to there being way too much going on.
In other Elite news, did you know that The Butcher and The Blade work at an actual butcher shop somewhere, that MJF apparently bankrolls it, and that his timely payments are what transform them into S&M types? That whole scene is the most Lucha Underground thing AEW’s ever done. I don’t know why MJF keeps paying off these dudes, though, as they don’t really get the job done against anyone tougher than QT Marshall and were single-handedly dispatched by a 63-year old Diamond Dallas Page.
They also don’t get the job done here, as they lose clean to the Young Bucks. It’s a good match, but I’m not sure MJF is paying them for their workrate? They try to get some heat back after the match by attacking the Bucks, in that “wins and losses don’t matter so let’s just keep attacking each other” WWE style, and get beaten up AGAIN by Kenny Omega and Adam Page. Seriously Max, you’ve gotta have more threatening goons than the magical perverts who work in the bowels of your grocery store.
Hangman Page steals the show here, though, showing up with beer in hand, handing it off to Matt Jackson to hold, hitting a Buckshot Lariat to contribute to the save, then retrieving his beer and bailing. Here’s the GIF. Who knew comedic alcoholism was the shortcut for Hangman to leap frog everyone to become the slickest guy on the show?
All In: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
THAT’S THE HARDEST PART OF THE SKATEBOARD!!!
The Real Birdman
Right in the throat. Cough and dropped
Wait, am I digging heel Britt Baker right now? Am I digging Britt Baker in general? What’s happening? Someone take me to a local medical facility.
The look of Fatherly pride on Jericho’s face when Sammy was about to hit Darby with the skateboard…
Like the end of Field of Dreams
Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer
If we don’t get a Christopher Daniels vs Emi Sakura mic stand on a pole match down the road, what are we even doing? – Vince Russo
Baron Von Raschke
There’s no non-title match tonight between Jericho & Moxley? How will we wonder if he can beat Jericho if he can’t beat Jericho?
I like to imagine PAC editing that video package on adobe premiere in his room on his computer, still in his gear
I feel like Darby and Private Party must have met through some kind of high school extracurricular program, and over the course of some humorous misadventure ended up learning about how friendship goes beyond gangs and cliques, most likely wrapping up with some kind of musical number.
Needs the ghost of Sam Wyche to come out and scream at Moxley, “YOU DON’T LIVE IN CLEVELAND – YOU LIVE IN CINCINNATI!”
Pac cutting promos on the stairs that the demon threw Father Karras down seems fitting.
I don’t know what’s funnier, the fact that PAC appears to be Bray Wyatt now, or the fact that he walks around in public in the winter in full wrestling gear. (It’s the second one.) (Kill them all, PAC.)
Thanks for reading about Dynamite! If you’re able to leave us a comment below, give the column a share on social media, and vote us Best Wrestling Media in the RSPW Awards, I’ll come to your job and hand you an envelope full of cash with YOUNG BUCKS written on it, for some reason.
Join us next week for The Elite vs. The Butcher, The Blade, The Ninja Skeleton, And The Immortal. Plus, Dr. British Baker puts her hand in the mouth of the returning Yuka Sakazaki, and Cody gets his “ten lashes” from MJF. See you then!