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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
JANUARY 22, 2020
NASSAU, BAHAMAS ON NORWEGIAN PEARL – JERICHO CRUISE
AIRED ON TAPE DELAY ON TNT
•Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs. SCU – HIT: What a great atmosphere for wrestling. On a cruise ship in front of the most diehard AEW fans. As a result of the setting, most of the matches took place almost exclusively between the ropes. Due to things like wind, waves, and lack of space there weren’t as many dives to the outside. While some might believe that took away from the matches, I thought it pushed the wrestlers to be more creative in the ring. Kenny Omega & Hangman Page winning the titles was a bit of a surprise, but a more interesting direction than the clichéd communication breakdown leading to a loss. Hangman Page has been one of the longest, most focused storylines since AEW’s inception. He went from the “blue chip prospect” from New Japan, to a weak challenger for the AEW Championship. He had shining moments on Dynamite and got over the line, “Cowboy S***”. All this before his slow decision into a bitter alcoholic whose blinded by his own issues to see who his real friends are. Whenever Hangman turns heel or the story hits its next chapter, Kenny Omega seems primed to be able to have some stand out matches with him.
•Britt Baker vs. Priscilla Kelly – HIT: A fine match from Britt Baker and Priscilla Kelly. Baker finally went heel after her post-match promo with Tony Schiavone. Baker attacked Schiavone for being a terrible Starbucks barista at one point. Schiavone played this off wonderfully by mouthing “what the f***.” Baker is a natural fit as a heel with her Dr. DMD titles. I mean, who likes going to the dentist?
•Jurassic Express vs. The Inner Circle – HIT: Again, the crowd helped make this show with singing along to Chris Jericho’s theme, “Judas”. They were excited to see Chris Jericho and were treated to a fun match with Jurassic Express. Luchasaurus was moving around a lot better than he had previously coming off of a hamstring injury. With him back in the fold looking 100%, AEW could go back to pushing him as something because he was catching on with the crowd before he went down with his injury. Jungle Boy continues to gain a lot being in the ring with Jericho. He’s still years away from being a top guy, but these encounters with The Inner Circle have boosted his popularity and standing on the roster by rising to the occasion.
•Joey Janela vs. MJF – HIT: While an entertaining match, this simply a means to an end so that each wrestler can get to their next destination. Joey Janela is off to feud with Kip Sabian whose with Janela’s ex Penelope Ford while MJF continues with Cody. For a crowd that oftentimes cheers heels because they appreciate their work as a wrestler, they sure love to boo MJF. He’s great at knowing what will rile them up which achieves the ultimate goal which is to get the fans to rally behind the babyface. Cody came out to his usual star reaction, but he wasn’t able to put his hand on MJF per their agreement. Instead, The Young Bucks came out and tossed MJF into a nearby pool. This was a memorable moment that made everyone look better coming out of the segment. Cody finally got one-up on MJF even though he couldn’t touch him. The Young Bucks look like the ultimate baby faces coming out to fight for Cody. While MJF retains his heat because the fans want to see Cody be the one to lay him out.
•PAC vs. Jon Moxley – HIT: Jon Moxley is a hot babyface. He is the right wrestler to be running with to go for the championship. He had another really good match with PAC setting him up to be the number one contender and face Chris Jericho at Revolution. Personally, I want to see long title reigns and don’t think Jericho should lose the title unless it is the right place, right time, right wrestler. It may not be Moxley’s turn next month, but he could have a great title reign being booked the way he is now. Jericho continues to have most of the highest rated segments on Dynamite, but I wonder if he would lose anything if he didn’t have the title.
RECOMMENDED: AEW DYNAMITE HITS & MISSES 1/15: Young Bucks vs. Hangman & Omega, Cody’s response to MJF, DDP’s return to the ring in tag against MJF, Statlander & Shida vs. Mel & Brandi, Pac vs. Darby, Moxley vs. Guevara