Cody Rhodes (w/ Arn Anderson) vs. Darby Allin
We kicked off the first episode of AEW Dynamite in 2020 with a match between Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin what was a bit confusing as they teamed up within the last episodes and it seemed as they would become friends and partners. Anyways, Cody had for the first time Arn Anderson with him who didn’t interfere at all.
This was a perfect match to open the show as they wrestled about 17 minutes and performed a great match with several moments in which you thought that one of the two would be able to get the victory. In the end, Allin went up to the top rope to perform the Coffin Drop, but Anderson gave Cody a signal when to raise his knees for the counterattack. After that, Cody was able to hit his opponent with the CrossRhodes followed by the three count.
Opinion: Great match and logical ending. I don’t think that Anderson will really interfere that often in the upcoming matches, but he’ll help Cody with such signals. Allin continues to be one of the best in-ring performers in all of AEW, but he should start to pick up more wins to become a more prestigious performer.
Riho (C.) vs. Nyla Rose vs. Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship
The plan was in truth that Riho would defend her AEW Women’s Championship against Kris Statlander, but they had to move it to next week since Statlander was this week not able to compete. The match itself was interesting to watch as they permanently worked with the angle that Nyla Rose would be the dominant women in this match and she even sent Hikaru Shida through a table at ringside with a Senton Bomb from the apron. In the end, Britt Baker tried to apply the Lockjaw on Shida, but Riho came into the ring to roll up Baker with a bridge for the win.
After the fight ended, Rose continued to attack AEW Women’s Champion Riho and also put her through a table, but this time with a big splash from the middle rope.
Opinion: A good match, but I’m curious why now Riho has to defend her title two weeks in a row while she didn’t show up regularly on the recent episodes of AEW Dynamite. Anyways, they let Rose look like an absolute destroyer while Riho was able to defend her title. The finish was worse than the actual match, but it would make no sense to take the tile away from Riho at the moment.
Jon Moxley vs. Trent (w/ Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy)
Jon Moxley made, as usual, his entrance through the crowd. The match took about 11 minutes and Trent even had a real chance to win this match as he performed a Piledriver after a distraction by Orange Cassidy which led to a nearfall. However, moments later Moxley performed the Paradigm Shift on the ramp, went back into the ring with Trent where he hit him with an elevated Paradigm Shift for the win.
After the match was over, Sammy Guevara came through the crowd and had a mic in his hand. He went to ringside and entered the ring. Guevara told Moxley to calm down as he wouldn’t be there to fight, but the Inner Circle would have something for him. Chris Jericho appeared on the big screen and was standing in front of Ford sports car with a license plate on which “Mox” was written. Y2J explained that he wouldn’t offer him a black mask, but a co-leadership with him. He explained how they could pull Cody’s pink tie out of ass and embarrass the Young Bucks as well as Kenny Omega. He entered the car as the video package closed. Moxley had a mic and said that he would give Jericho his answer in person on next week’s episode of AEW Dynamite.
Opinion: On the one side I was happy that Trent had his chances and it didn’t was a squash match while on the other side it would make at this stage quite sense to let Moxley destroy his opponents. Anyways, the crowd wasn’t happy that he left without a real answer.
Sammy Guevara vs. Dustin Rhodes
Guevara was still in the ring as then Dustin Rhodes attacked him from behind before the match officially started. Dustin was most of the time able to dominate Sammy, but after some time, Jake Hager came out and several times helped Sammy. In the end, Dustin set up his opponent for the Shattered Dreams, but the ref intervened what gave Hager the chance to give Dustin a low blow which led to Guevara’s win.
Opinion: Another good match and it is clear that they build towards a match between Dustin and Hager and that is a good thing as the fans want to see that.
MJF was accompanied by Wardlow and played with the crowd during his entrance. When he entered the ring, he kicked off his promo. He announced his stipulations for the match against Cody. The first one was that Cody wouldn’t be allowed to touch him until Revolution. Secondly, Cody will have to take on Wardlow in a Steel Cage match and lastly, he added that he would get the chance to hit Cody 10 times with his leather belt. He noted that the scars on Cody’s back would be reminders that his name is MJF and he closed the promo with his typical words “I’m better than you, and you know it!”.
Opinion: Solid promo by MJF as always and he played well with the crowd. The three stipulations are quite interesting, while I truly look forward to the first real confrontation between these two.
“The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. Pac and “The Lucha Bros” Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix
Then, the main event of this episode of AEW Dynamite took place. Adam “Hangman” Page was on commentary and the match took about 17 minutes. These four men showed off an incredible match as we expected it. We had several near falls, but in the end, Kenny Omega performed the One Winged Angel against Rey Fenix for the victory. After the match, the Elite invited Page to celebrate with them in the ring, but he didn’t accept while instead Cody joined them as the show closed.
Opinion: A great match to end the show and the post-match angle made sense. They continue to work towards Page’s split and I’m looking forward to the actual segment in which it really happens.
All in all, one of the best episodes of AEW Dynamite. This time, they really focused very much on the actual matches and we had not that many promos or other segments what I quite liked. The opener was my highlight of the show, but the other matches were also delivered well. However, you have to add that now such a kind of an episode is possible, as they already built up the characters of the wrestlers.