The John Report: AEW Dynamite 01/08/20 Review

Live from Southaven, Mississippi (near Memphis), this is episode #14 of AEW Dynamite. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE, AEW and other wrestling news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Here’s my AEW Dynamite TV review archive. I’m watching on TSN2 in Canada, so there might be different commercial breaks or split-screen moments.

The show began with a recap of last week’s episode of Dynamite. That was followed by a pyro display in the arena. They mentioned Memphis repeatedly even though it was actually Southaven, Mississippi. It’s a suburb of Memphis.

The announce team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur was joined by Dave Brown, who is a Memphis wrestling announcing legend. JR said it was great to have him, but they also wish Lance (Russell) was there.

The “Hangman” Adam Page made his entrance followed by his partner Kenny Omega, who got a huge pop. They have had issues of late because Page is feeling separate from The Elite group. The Private Party team made their entrance. They are just 4-8 in their AEW careers. I didn’t realize it was that bad, but they did have some big wins too.

Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Cassidy)

The fans chanted “Cowboy Shit” for Page as he locked up with Quen to start the match. Page went for a kick, Quen avoided it, Quen with a dropkick and Cassidy went up top with a double foot stomp to the chest. Cassidy with a kick to the head, Quen with a sweep kick and Quen with a double foot stomp because this team loves that move. Page came back with a suplex on Cassidy onto Quen. Omega had some cupping marks on his back. Cupping is part of recovery and healing that wrestlers do, but most of the time they don’t have the marks still on them when they have a match. Omega with a backbreaker on Cassidy. Page back in with a knee to the ribs. Cassidy took care of both of his opponents while he was on the apron and then he jumped into the ring with a flatliner on Omega. Quen tagged in with a cross body block off the top on Page. Quen hit dives out of the ring on Page and Omega two times each. The fans popped as Quen landed on his feet. Cassidy with a Spanish Fly slam on Page for a two count. Cassidy went for an attack off the top, but Page stopped him with a boot to the face. Page with a fallaway slam on Quen to send him across the ring. Page and Omega hit corner splash and Page hit a high angle German Suplex followed by a Powerbomb. Omega with a running knee to the back of Cassidy for a two count. Omega with a Snapdragon suplex on Quen, but then Cassidy hit a dropkick to the knee of Omega. Cassidy came back with an athletic DDT for a two count. Quen went up top with a Shooting Star Press, but Kenny moved and Page got the tag. Page almost hit the buckshot lariat on Omega, but then he stopped himself. Quen worked over both guys with light forearms, then Omega with a knee to Quen and Page with a spinning clothesline for a two count. Page put Quen on the shoulders, Cassidy saved his partner, double dropkick sent Page into the turnbuckle and PP hit the Gin N Juice double team move (ends in a Cutter) on Omega for two because Page made the save at the last moment. Page with a clothesline to send Cassidy out of the ring. Omega flipped Quen over and that hit Page with a kick to the head. Omega came back with a knee to Quen, then Page back with a buckshot lariat/knee to the back combo on Quen. Omega hit the One Winged Angel on Quen for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match that continued Omega’s hot streak of winning matches, which is the right way to book one of your best wrestlers. Since they don’t have a lot of heel teams in AEW, they don’t do traditional tag team wrestling building up to the hot tag for the faces and then go to the finish. It’s a different style here. There weren’t any major issues between Omega and Page, so they didn’t further that much other than a few small moments in the match. The Private Party team continues to be booked as losers nearly every time out there even though they have consistently good matches Yes, they beat the Young Bucks three months ago, but it’s been a while since they have had something interesting to do on these shows.

There was a locker room scene with Pac giving Michael Nakazawa the Brutalizer submission move. Referees were there to try to break it up. Pac told Kenny to give him his one on one rematch or this will continue to happen. Omega went running to the back. Nakazawa is Omega’s best friend, so that’s why Pac attacked him. The announcers thanked Dave Brown for joining them.

(Commercial – Adam Page went into the crowd to drink some beers and other beverages with fans around the ring. Some guy had a “Drink My Beer” sign, so Page chugged the beer quickly.)

The announce team was back to the original trio of JR, Tony and Excalibur as they went over the card for the rest of the show. They were joined by Brandi Rhodes for the women’s title match.

Kris Statlander made her entrance for the AEW Women’s Title match. She is 3-2 in her AEW career and she’s an alien. Yes, that’s the gimmick. Brandi: “She’s not an alien. That is a woman with facepaint.” And there goes the gimmick. Riho entered with the AEW Women’s Title and she’s got a career record of 9-2 in AEW. They showed Hikaru Shida and Dr. Britt Baker watching in the crowd.

AEW Women’s Championship: Riho vs. Kris Statlander

Statlander with a running shoulder tackle, Riho with a dropkick and Statlander tripped her up followed by a missed legdrop. Riho came back with a hurricanrana off the ropes. Riho went for an attack on the ropes, Statlander blocked it and hit a backbreaker.

(Commercial – Statlander with a body slam. Riho came back with a roll through into a double stomp to the chest. Statlander with a forearm to the back followed by a slam off the shoulders and an axe kick for two.)

The match returned with Statlander going for a moonsault, Riho moved and Riho got a rollup for two. Statlander hit a delayed vertical suplex off the middle ropes. Brandi: “Now she hurt her own head, stupid.” Both women were down on the mat. Awesome Kong and Melanie Cruise of the Nightmare Collective (with Brandi) walked down to the ring. Statlander with an uppercut, Riho with a knee strike and Statlander with a boot to the face. Riho with a kick to the head and Melanie pulled Riho out of the ring while also tossing her into the barricade. Statlander hit a suicide dive on Melanie. Statlander hit a suicide dive on Awesome Kong. Brandi walked up to Statlander and trash talked her. Statlander can speak English now after only communicating like an alien previously. A guy named Dr. Luther emerged from under the ring, he held Statlander’s hand and Kong hit a clothesline. The referee missed all of this because he checked on Riho. Luther is the guy that was in their previous videos. Riho went up top and jumped onto Luther at ringside. The fans chanted “Riho” for that. Riho went for a double foot stomp, Statlander moved and Riho got a cradle for two. Riho hit a crucifix pin on Statlander for a two count. Statlander with a discus lariat followed by a sitout slam for two. Statlander picked up Riho, Kong tripped up Statlander and Riho fell on top for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Riho

Analysis: *3/4 That was disappointing. I expected a better match because both women have impressed me, but they didn’t have a chance to have a great match due to all of the interference. The interference was booked in a weird way because it didn’t originally cost Statlander, but then it did later in the match. Riho just came off as a regular wrestler here instead of a champion. Riho’s title reign has been boring with AEW doing a poor job of building up credible heel contenders.

Post match, Kong decked Statlander with a clothesline. Riho tried to save Statlander by going after Kong, but Mel hit Riho in the back with a forearm to knock her down. Hikaru Shida went into the ring to get rid of the heels. Britt Baker chose to stay in the crowd since she may have turned heel last week. Other wrestlers like Big Swole and Sonny Kiss went down to the ring as the heels left.

Analysis: The story is that Statlander turned down the Nightmare Collective group, so they decided to interfere in her match to cost her the title win. Riho going after Kong could set up Riho vs. Kong as a title feud, but Kong hasn’t been booked in that many matches.

There was a brief video about “Superbad” Kip Sabian with Penelope Ford. They have barely been featured on Dynamite in the last few months.

Christopher Daniels of the SCU group made his entrance for a singles match.


Sammy Guevara of the Inner Circle group made his entrance for singles action. He beat Dustin Rhodes last week thanks to some help from Jake Hager.

Sammy Guevara vs. Christopher Daniels

It was noted that Daniels has 26 years of experience while Guevara is 26 years old and Daniels started his career before Sammy was born. Daniels with a hiptoss, body slam and Guevara got in a cheap shot forearm after hiding behind the referee. Guevara with a double knee attack off the turnbuckle. Guevara with a Samoan Drop for two. Guevara with a hook kick to the jaw, then he went up top and missed a splash. Daniels with an exploder suplex that sent Sammy onto his head/neck. Daniels with a back body drop, a dropkick and a clothesline. Daniels with a sitout Powerbomb for a two count. Guevara countered the Angel’s Wings, running knee strike and a running Shooting Star Press got a two count. Daniels with a backslide pin for two and Sammy with a jackknife pin for two leading to a double clothesline spot. Daniels sent Guevara into the turnbuckle and he hit a STO. Pentagon showed up with microphone in hand asking Daniels to show him what he’s got. The story is that Daniels messed up a springboard move against Pentagon last month and landed on his head, so people wonder if Daniels can still do it in the ring. Guevara went to the other side of the ring, knee to the face and a kick to the back by Guevara got the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sammy Guevara

Analysis: **1/4 This was just average stuff here. It was another week with Sammy getting a win over a guy that’s almost double his age. That’s the right way to book it to have the younger guy get the win. I’m not sure how successful it will be in terms of getting Sammy over, but they are trying to make him a bigger deal with wins like this. The finish was weak. It came across as very flat and made Daniels look like a rookie instead of a nearly 30-year veteran. I hate terrible finishes like that.

The Dark Order group made their entrance with Evil Uno talking to Christopher Daniels, who was still in the ring. Uno sucked up to him calling him one of the best wrestlers today. Uno said that the AEW faithful do not share his high opinion of Daniels. Uno told Daniels that they do not believe in Chris anymore and the fans say that Chris has lost a step. Uno told Daniels he can help make him what he once was. JR: “Lots of recruiting on this program.” Yes, and it’s repetitive. The fans chanted “SCU” and Uno said that SCU was a thing of the past while Uno gave Daniels a mask. Daniels threw the mask down, so the other wrestlers in the Dark Order stomped on Daniels. The SCU boys Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian saved Daniels and the Young Bucks helped make the save as well since they had issues with Dark Order as well. Stu Grayson went into the ring and got beaten down by the four guys. Sky hit a somersault dive over the top onto a bunch of Dark Order guys. Double superkick by the Young Bucks, Daniels with a STO on Reynolds and the Best Moonsault Ever by Daniels ended it.

Analysis: It was another failed recruitment attempt by the Dark Order heel group. It wouldn’t shock me if that group got more of a push since they are actually heels in a company that’s lacking on the heel side. Since Daniels turned down the Dark Order, maybe Dark Order will go after SCU to go for the Tag Team Titles. I don’t know if that’s the plan, but it may happen.

(Commercial – The Dark Order retreated while the faces celebrated in the ring. Cody and Dustin Rhodes were shown walking backstage with Arn Anderson joining them.)

The Lucha Brothers made their entrance. They are 6-6 in their AEW careers while the announcers try to put them over as possibly the best tag team in the world. They certainly aren’t booked that way. They are cheered by the fans, but they do heelish things a lot of the time too.

The Rhodes brother duo was next with Dustin out first for his team with a 3-4 career record in AEW. Cody was joined by manager Arn Anderson and Cody’s record in AEW is 7-3-1 so far. Both teams are legitimately brothers.

Cody and Dustin Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Lucha Brothers (Pentagon and Rey Fenix)

Cody and Pentagon each tried for moves, but neither got anything and Dustin tagged in with a lot of counter moves with Fenix. They spent over a minute without a move connecting. Cody turned his head like a dumbass, so Fenix superkicked him in the back of the head. Cody came back with a standing side kick on Pentagon, Dustin tagged in, Pentagon kicked him to the floor and Fenix with a suicide dive on Dustin. Pentagon up top with a double foot stomp on Dustin.

(Commercial – Fenix worked over Dustin with kicks to the legs. When Dustin was sent across the ring, he collapsed to the mat to sell a leg injury. Pentagon back in with a kick to the leg of Dustin. Pentagon with two more kicks to the back of the left knee of Dustin. Fenix grabbed a headlock, Pentagon back in he kicked Dustin in the leg again.)

Dustin fought out of the Lucha Bros corner with punches and he gave Fenix a back body drop over the top to the floor. Fenix grabbed a chair, so Arn Anderson kicked the chair out of Fenix’s hand. Dustin with a spinebuster on Fenix. Cody got the hot tag against Pentagon with a hurricanrana and a powerslam on Fenix. Cody hit a suicide dive on Pentagon on the floor. Cody with a pump kick on Fenix, then ten punches against the turnbuckle and Cody threw his weight belt into the crowd. Fenix with a knee to the face, then he bounced off the ropes with a spin kick and a Cutter. Pentagon back in, Dustin tagged in, Fenix with a dropkick on Dustin. Fenix with a running tightrope kick and Pentagon with a sitout crunch slam on Cody. That was a rough landing, but Cody was okay. Dustin with a powerslam on Pentagon, atomic drop by Dustin on Fenix and Dustin hit a Canadian Destroyer on Fenix. Cody went up top and jumped off wit ha Cody Cutter on Pentagon. Dustin hit the Final Reckoning neckbreaker slam for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Cody and Dustin Rhodes

Analysis: *** They told a good story with Dustin selling the left knee injury, yet his team was still able to come back to win. I didn’t expect that result with Dustin getting the win for his team. I figured if they won it would be Cody, but perhaps they felt Dustin needed a win after losing last week. Another loss for the Lucha Brothers is disappointing since they could be booked way better in AEW.

After the match was over, Tony Schiavone went into the ring to conduct an interview with Cody.

Cody was asked about his response to MJF’s challenge against him. Arn Anderson interrupted to say he doesn’t see how this MJF gets to name all these preposterous stipulations. Anderson said that if MJF wants this match, they’ll talk about it this week and get back to you next week.

Analysis: They are really dragging this Cody/MJF story out. I don’t mind slow builds. It just feels like they are losing some of the steam by dragging it out as much as they are.

Lanny Poffo was interviewed by Alex Marvez to represent his family as Memphis wrestling legends. They will have more on AEW Dark on Tuesday about the Memphis wrestling legends.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman aka MJF made his entrance with Wardlow with both of them in suits along with MJF wearing his usual scarf.

(Commercial – MJF taunted some fans all around the ring to kill a few minutes until the show came back to full screen. MJF made ring announcer Justin Roberts kiss the ring. MJF took a fan sign and hit another fan with it. The Rock N Roll Express were at ringside in the crowd along with other wrestling legends, so MJF taunted them.)

Let’s Hear from MJF

MJF was in the ring doing a promo saying Cody Rhodes in a coward. MJF said he’ll give Cody a count of ten for Cody to face MJF. There was no sign of Cody, so MJF called him a little bitch.

Diamond Dallas Page showed up for the interruption as he made his way into the ring. DDP is in great shape wearing his DDPY shirt. DDP is 63 years old and is in better shape than most people his age, that’s for damn sure.

Page introduced himself by listing his credentials while also plugging DDP Yoga, which led to a “yoga” chant. Page said if you would have told him 19 years ago that he’d be back live on TNT with the hottest new wrestling promotion on the planet AEW (then he told the fans to chant it twice) and he would have to say you’re smoking crack, but look who is back. MJF was tweeting on his phone during the segment about the old guy

Page called MJF “Motormouth Jackoff Friedman” because that can be used for MJF and he shouted out Wardlow. Page mentioned his incident in the ring with MJF and Wardlow several weeks ago when MJF was award the diamond ring. Page said fans were wondering if he was coming back for one more match. MJF said in his prime, DDP couldn’t lace MJF’s boots (I believe MJF was 3 when DDP won his first WCW World Title) and with his arthritic hands, he couldn’t even hold his jock. MJF said that he doesn’t want to fight DDP, but these guys might.

The trio of The Butcher, The Blade (in a mask for his entrance) and The Bunny made their entrance. MJF reminded DDP that WCW is dead and dead is the average age of your fans. MJF told DDP his first option is to kiss MJF’s ring and get out of his company. The second option is to send DDP straight to hospice and then MJF can take one of the Diamond Daughters, take them to his bed and BANG! Page choked MJF. Butcher charged at DDP like a moron and ate a Diamond Cutter from DDP. Blade tried to attack, but DDP countered a body slam into a Diamond Cutter on The Blade. MJF went after DDP, who pushed him off and MJF kicked Page in the balls to put him down. Wardlow held Page until QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes and referees made the save for DDP. That led to a break.

Analysis: This was okay. MJF had some great lines as usual including the part about DDP’s daughters, which made it feel personal. Seeing DDP do the Diamond Cutter was cool, but it also made the current losers like Butcher and Blade look like losers that were easily beaten up by a guy in his 60s. The ending of this fell flat too.

(Commercial – DDP left with his buddies. They went away through the crowd. The Jurassic Express trio made their entrance.)

The Best Friend trio of Trent, Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy made their entrance. That meant Orange Cassidy was in a match.

Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt) vs. Best Friends (Trent, Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy)

Taylor with an arm drag on Jungle Boy, who came back with an arm drag of his own and a dropkick. Stunt faced off against Trent, who easily shoved him down. Stunt with a headscissors takedown, Trent knocked him down although the screen was showing the crowd, so we missed it. Stunt with a chop, Trent no sold it, so Stunt brought Boy back in. Boy picked up Stunt for a splash onto Trent as Taylor made the save.


Back from break, Taylor hit a Falcon Arrow slam on Boy and then Boy hit a clothesline on Taylor. Luchasaurus tagged in against Trent as Luchasaurus hit punches, kicks and spinning kick on Trent. Luchasaurus with a kick to the chest on Taylor followed by tail whip kick. Cassidy tagged in to a huge pop from the crowd. Cassidy did his weak looking kicks to the legs, Luchasaurus picked him up and Cassidy hit a Stunner on him. Boy tagged in, Cassidy hit him with a dropkick and Cassidy hit a hands in the pocket suicide dive on Luchasaurus on the floor. Best Friends hugged. Boy with a German Suplex on Trent, but then Taylor lifted Boy into a Spear from Trent. Cassidy up top and he fell on Boy for a two count as Stunt broke it up. Stunt hit a DDT line move on Trent and then Stunt hit a Canadian Destroyer on Trent. Stunt jumped on Luchasaurus and the big man launched Stunt onto two opponents on the floor. Taylor with a rising knee to Boy. Boy countered a move with a hurricanrana into a pinfall win after 11 minutes. The announcers noted that is Jungle Boy’s first win In AEW.

Winners by pinfall: Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt)

Analysis: **3/4 It was a fun match between two popular acts. The fans love these acts, so that’s why the crowd support for this match was so strong. I have mixed feelings about Orange Cassidy sometimes, but I liked how he was used here. This was the right way to book him in a tag team match. I feel like they should feature Luchasaurus more in matches like this because he’s a guy that can stand out more than they allowed him to do in this match. Jungle Boy getting his first win is meaningful for him at least.

The Chris Jericho Rock N Wrestling Rager cruise is in two weeks on AEW Dynamite with Jericho teaming with Santana and Ortiz vs. Jurassic Express.

Next week on AEW Dynamite Bash at the Beach:

* Pac vs. Darby Allin

* Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs. Awesome Kong and Mel

* MJF, The Butcher and The Blade vs. DDP, Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall.

Analysis: Those matches are okay, but there’s nothing that big there. They need to advertise bigger matches if they want to get more viewers tuning in week after week.

The AEW World Champion Chris Jericho made his entrance for the main event segment with Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara joining him. They are part of the Inner Circle group.

(Commercial – Sammy Guevara had signs in his hands that he showed to the camera hyping up the main event segment.)

Let’s Hear from Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley

Jon Moxley made his entrance for the main event talking segment. There was a red carpet in the ring along with champagne. Moxley walked in through the crowd and he walked down the steps on his way to the ring. Chris Jericho introduced him as his friend and protégé. Moxley got into the ring with Jericho, Hager and Guevara.

Jericho said that January 8th is an important day in Memphis and not because it is Elvis Presley’s birthday. Jericho said if Elvis was there he’d kick his butt while adding The Beatles are better. I agree with that! Jericho said that January 8th is the night where Jon Moxley will give his answer about joining the Inner Circle. Jericho said he’s got Santana and Ortiz on Beale Street for the party while telling the fans that none of them are invited. Jericho asked Mox if he will be part of the Inner Circle.

Moxley said that he’s had a lot to think about this week and there’s a lot more that went into this decision than you people probably think. Moxley said you might think you know what makes him tick or you may think you know his goals or motivations, but you don’t. Moxley said that Jericho offered him a lot, but he didn’t want any of it. Moxley said that he can’t be bought, he came to AEW to dynamite, to run roughshod over professional wrestling and that is why his answer is yes. The announcers were shocked by the yes and they also believed it. Moxley revealed an Inner Circle shirt under his jacket.

Moxley said he came here to dominate and there’s no more influential force in AEW than the Inner Circle and he wants to stand with them. Jericho celebrated it while calling the fans they are idiots. Moxley said that he believes in his heart that Chris Jericho is the greatest of all time. Moxley said he’ll stand with Jericho, the Inner Circle and dominate for years to come. Moxley told them to pop open a little bit of the bubbly.

They opened some champagne bottles while playing Moxley’s music. Jericho said that this the beginning of the Inner Circle taking over AEW and all of you can shut up and watch them do it. There were still a few minutes left in the show, so you know what was coming.

Moxley said that Jericho owes him something and Jericho gave him the car keys to the Ford GT that was worth $750,000. Jericho claimed that is more than all of the fans in this building make combined. Moxley held the keys in his hands. The fans chanted “you sold out” at Moxley, who said now he’s got a new car. Jericho mentioned that they won their matches at Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome and they’re together in AEW. The celebration continued again with more of a champagne celebration.

Moxley was alone in the ring with Jericho after Hager and Guevara left the ring. Moxley told them to cut the music as he said he forgot one final thing.

Moxley: “Chris, my friend, I was just kidding. I would never join the Inner Circle. It’s a stupid group and you have nothing that I want…except for that.” He was referring to the World Title.

Moxley broke a bottle of champagne on Jericho’s head and gave him the Paradigm Shift DDT. Moxley gave Guevara the Paradigm Shift DDT as well. Hager checked on Jericho as Moxley left the ring. Hager held Jericho in his arms while Moxley celebrated in the crowd. Moxley had the car keys in his hands, so at least he got the car out of the deal (in the storyline). Moxley celebrated some more to end the show.

Analysis: It took a while, but then the obvious thing happened with the popular Moxley turning down the heel Inner Circle group. That’s what I figured going back weeks ago. They have until February 29th for their next PPV at Revolution and it was obvious Jericho/Moxley was the match there. It was just a matter of killing a few weeks by teasing that Moxley might join the group and of course that didn’t happen. It was a fun way to end the show. As I have mentioned many times before, Moxley is a Stone Cold style babyface that isn’t going to have allies. He’s going to do his own thing, so it’s fitting that he turned down the Inner Circle.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Kenny Omega/Adam Page
  2. Chris Jericho
  3. Jon Moxley


The Scoreboard

This week: 6.25 (out of 10)

Last week: 7.75

Last 5 Weeks: 7.75, 7, 6.75, 6.25, 7


Final Thoughts

This week’s Dynamite gets a 6.25 out of 10.

This felt like more of an average episode of Dynamite after they had a great show last week. Last week’s show was heavily based around the in-ring action. There were longer, better matches. This week, they tried hard to further some of the storylines on the show and it just wasn’t as interesting to watch. There’s also a repetitiveness when watching Dynamite because there are so many stables with people trying to recruit others to join groups. Even Jim Ross jokes about it every week.

I liked the main event angle with Moxley turning down Jericho obviously, which furthers that rivalry. The MJF segment was just average this week. I don’t mind slow burning angles, but sometimes they go too slow because the Cody/MJF rivalry has stalled big time. The women’s division storylines aren’t working that well either.

This show was okay, but there wasn’t anything that special about it if you missed it.

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Thanks for reading.

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport

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