Thursday, February 20, 2020

AEW Dynamite (Feb. 19, 2020) - Dat Dere Is A Tall Kage, Kid

AEW debuts a steel cage match and two big hosses are in matches against the hot babyfaces in AEW... also, the continuing adventures of Hangman Page... yeah, that's all I got for this one... but hey, it was a fun show, at least.

We open with the multi-tag team battle royal to determine who gets to challenge Kenny and Page for the tag titles at the Revolution PPV in two weeks... and after well over eighteen minutes of action, the whole thing is won by the Young Bucks. Hey, look. The Bucks are actually WINNING matches instead of losing them. Imagine that... yeah, the match itself should be a lot of fun. Battle Royals of this ilk are tricky because there's so many bodies at the same time that it's hard to keep track of stuff, but they somehow managed to forward not only the Bucks winning, but also further the SCU/Dark Order story with a bit or two along the way. If you pay close attention, there's some nice building towards the future sort of bits.

Kris Statlander (the alien lady) beat Shanna (the Dragon Ball cosplayer) in a pretty good match that was made better on commentary, with Britt Baker giving Mr. Starbucks a hard time and putting herself over as an unlikeable prick. You know what? I actually like Britt more as the arrogant no-fucks-given evil dentist than I did generic wrestler dentist lady. And I didn't mind Britt before but she never had the kind of personality that she showed here in recent weeks, so it's a big step up.

We get a Nyle Rose promo where she threatens to break bitches or something. This prompts the alien girl and the swole girl to come out for some reason... because what are rankings for, right?

Jon Moxley (he with the one eye) defeated Jeff Cobb (long-haired mountain of a man) in a straight-up brawl between the relentless fighter and the big mountain of man brought in as the hired gun. One could argue that they could've had Jake Hager fill the Cobb role here, but they're saving him for PPV against Dustin... as they should. Yeah, this was a fun match. I like this Moxley fellow being a guy with nothing to lose. I like this Cobb fellow that I've only heard of and never recall having watched before. I hope he sticks around for a bit.

After the match, the Inner Circle run in to attack Moxley, which prompts a run in from Dustin Rhodes, who gets pummelled just as quickly. Just as things are at their bleakest, we get Darby Allin making his big return after having skateboard to his neck and his presence is enough to cause such a ruckus that when all is said and done, only Mox and Jericho remain in the ring, with le Champion quickly bailing before things got a bit heated. Good post-match shenanigans that not only furthered the World title feud, but also gave us a bit more meat in building that Dustin/Jake Hager match that's also taking place at the PPV. And not only do you have that, but you have the grand return of Darby Allin, who shows up, beats on Sammy, and gets a huge reaction as a result because people actually care about Darby and his strange facepaint.

AEW Tag-Team Champions Hangman Adam Page (Come me dise Yeehaw?) and Kenny Omega (not enough RIHO on this show) defeated the Lucha Bros. in a tremendous back-and-forth tag-team match. And then the Bucks show up to celebrate with Kenny while Hangman goes out and steal someone's beer... welp, Hangman did that fellow a favor; you shouldn't drink and drive.

Cody defeated Wardlow in a steel cage match via moonsault off the top of the cage. At first glance, AEW's steel cage is a fairly tall beast, about twenty feet according to JR. Only the steel corners are secured and the rules of the match is more in line with old NWA rules; win by pinfall or submission, no escape. Perfectly fine with that. Wardlow is a big man who takes several huge blows to get off his feet and every move he hit feels impactful and hard. Cody gets busted open and gets tossed through the door, prompting a bit where Arn Anderson (Cody's coach) is standing in front of the door and you see MJF goading Arn to slam the door to Cody's head, much like he did to his dad. (Context: Arn used to be part of the Horsemen and they used to antagonize Dusty Rhodes on a regular basis.) Arn responds by slamming the door to MJF's face instead and in a funny bit, the door slightly touches Cody on the recoil. A perfectly fine cage match that told the story it needed to tell; Cody has a big obstacle to overcome and after a while, he overcame it, leaving him on a direct course for the Revolution match with MJF... that should be fun.

As far as Wardlow goes, he's another big muscle guy. He looked alright. Probably would've been another big guy in WWE, but in AEW - a place where most of the roster is small in stature if nothing else - another big guy is worth having. Maybe he and Cobb could get together and form a team - War Cobb or something.

Yes, kids. This was another DYNAMITE episode from AEW. The important stuff got pushed, the wrestling served its purpose in furthering some stories, and we got a steel cage match that felt like something important, even if it was Cody going up against the bodyguard to get to the real target, MJF.

Fun show, everyone. Fun show.

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