All Elite Wrestling returned after a holiday break with an episode of Dynamite from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. The Elite were out to prove their rocky start in AEW was a fluke, Riho put her women’s title on the line and Jon Moxley had a major decision to make. Two of those three things happened…
All Elite Wrestling returned after a holiday break with an episode of Dynamite from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. The Elite were out to prove their rocky start in AEW was a fluke, Riho put her women’s title on the line and Jon Moxley had a major decision to make. Two of those three things happened on the “Homecoming” edition of AEW’s weekly television show.
Let’s have a look now at everything that went down Wednesday night on the first episode of Dynamite in 2020.
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Jon Moxley pushes off Inner Circle offer
Jon Moxley def. Trent via pinfall after a Paradigm Shift. The crowd was hot for Moxley from the jump, and Trent makes a solid opponent for anyone on the roster. Moxley caught Trent coming off the top rope to the entrance ramp and hit the Paradigm Shift. He then connected with a second once the action returned to the ring for the finish, which led into one of the most heavily-promoted angles heading into the show.
After the match, Sammy Guevara was in the crowd with a microphone. He walked to the ring before throwing things to Chris Jericho on the big screen. Jericho said he doesn’t just want Moxley in the Inner Circle — he wants him to be an equal partner, offering him 49 percent of Inner Circle LLC and a role as vice president. He also offered up a Ford GT for good measure. Jericho pitched how dominant they would be together in taking control of the promotion. Moxley’s response was to say he considered Jericho a friend and mentor, and out of respect, he said he’d give him an answer in-person … next week.
The angle was a bit of a disappointment given much of the promotion for the show revolved around “Will Moxley accept Jericho’s offer?” But, AEW has tried to continue linking shows week-to-week, and this is one of those hooks. The match with Trent was good, as you’d expect, and Guevara is very solid in his role for the group. Still, I feel like I’m trying to find positive things to say for what was ultimately a pushed-off angle. Grade: C-
What else happened on AEW Dynamite?
- The show opened with a short, but well done video focusing on The Elite struggling to fully take control as AEW has gotten going. The video set the tone for much of the coming action.
- Cody def. Darby Allin via pinfall with a rollup after blocking the Coffin Drop. The two had another very good, fairly long match that saw Allin kick out of the Cross Rhodes as a second time limit draw between the two was drawing near. Allin was setting up for a Coffin Drop for the win when Cody’s new head coach, Arn Anderson, jumped on the canvas and yelled for Cody to get his knees up. Cody did so and rolled up Allin for the victory. Grade: B+
- Women’s Championship — Riho (c) def. Britt Baker (via pinfall), Hikaru Shida, & Nyla Rose to retain her title. This was to be a match between Kris Statlander and Riho before prior obligations forced AEW to push the match back a week. The four-way match was good for an AEW women’s division that has largely been a disappointment. Everyone had a chance to shine, especially Rose, who put Shida through a table at ringside during the match and splashed Riho through a table in the ring after the match concluded. Grade: B-
- A Joey Janela backstage promo was cut short when he was hit from behind with a low blow from Penelope Ford, who walked off with Kip Sabian.
- Sammy Guevara def. Dustin Rhodes via pinfall after a Jake Hager low blow. Rhodes proved yet again he has plenty left to give in the ring, even hitting a destroyer on the ring apron. In the end, he was setting up for an Unnatural Kick when referee Bryce Remsburg halted the illegal blow. Hager jumped into the ring and hit a low blow during the distraction, allowing Guevara to pick up the win. Grade: B
- MJF cut a promo in the ring laying out the stipulations he required for Cody to get the match he was demanding. Stipulation No. 1 was that the match happens at Revolution and Cody can not lay a finger on him before then. Stipulation No. 2: Cody had to beat Wardlow one-on-one in a steel cage match. The final stipulation requires Cody to get down on all fours and be whipped 10 times by MJF.
- Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks def. The Lucha Bros & PAC via pinfall after Omega hit Rey Fenix with a One-Winged Angel. This was the exact kind of match fans expect AEW to deliver. All six men rank among the absolute best performers on the planet and all of them wrestled as such. The intro video earlier in the night paid off through Cody beating Allin to open the show and the rest of The Elite defeating top-tier rivals in the main event. The story of The Elite finding their stride in 2020 and trying to reach the level they expected after a rough start is off to a great beginning. After the match, Adam “Hangman” Page, who had been on commentary, refused to join his friends in the ring, instead giving them a thumbs up and walking off with a cocktail to close the show. Grade: A