This week’s AEW Dynamite was the Chris Jericho cruise edition of the show. They taped it on Tuesday night, so it’s the first episode of Dynamite that wasn’t live. It’s understandable considering they were on a cruise in the middle of the ocean. It was announced by Cody Rhodes that they will have a live episode of AEW Dynamite from the Jericho cruise next year, so that’s cool.
Live (on tape) from The Ship of Jericho in Nassau, Bahamas, this is episode #16 of AEW Dynamite. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net 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 took place on the “Chris Jericho Rock N Wrestling Rager At Sea” in the Bahamas. They put a wrestling ring on the boat, they had fans surrounding it, there was a pool nearby and other things you would expect on a cruiser. There was a ramp to the backstage area for the wrestlers to make their entrance. It was a unique look, that’s for sure. I thought it looked pretty cool at first glance.
The announce team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur gave us a rundown of the matches coming up this week. The main event is Pac vs. Jon Moxley with the winner earning an AEW World Title match.
The team of “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega were up first for their tag team title match. Page was first followed by Omega and they got a nice reaction from the crowd. The announcers noted it was a bit windy there on the cruise with JR noting he had to take his hat off because it was so windy. The AEW Tag Team Champions SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky w/Christopher Daniels) made their entrance for a decent pop. Daniels went to the back.
What was noticeable about the ring on the cruise is that there is not much room outside of the ring for dives or much action out there.
AEW Tag Team Championships: So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs. Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page
All four guys in the match are faces. Omega and Page won a 4-way tag team match last week to earn this title match.
Kazarian started with Page with a shoulder tackle followed by a side headlock. They exchanged forearms, then a double clothesline and Kazarian hit a clothesline to knock Page down. Sky tagged in, Page hit him with a forearm, they had a shoving match and Omega got the tag for his first action of the match. Omega worked over the left arm of Sky, Omega sent to the turnbuckle, kick to the face and Kitaro crusher driving Sky’s head to the mat got a two count. Page tagged in with a fallaway slam on Sky. Kazarian tagged in with a dropkick, bodyslam and a guillotine leg drop. Sky and Kazarian made some quick tags with Kazarian hitting a suplex on Page for a two count. Sky with a kick on Page, then Kazarian followed up with a German Suplex and Omega broke up the pin attempt. That was a rough landing on the back of the head for Page. Sky tagged back in, he used the soles of the boots to the face, Page fought out of the corner and Page hit a running lariat on Kazarian. Sky dropkicked Omega on the apron to prevent a tag. Kazarian with a backstabber on Page followed by an Unprettier for a two count. Page and Kazarian ran the ropes leading to a double clothesline spot. You could tell how windy it was because of the ring apron blowing around. Omega tagged in against Sky with chops, Sky blocked a suplex and Omega hit a hurricanrana. Omega with a Snapdragon Suplex on Kazarian and a fisherman’s buster suplex on Sky for a two count. Omega with a rolling senton, Page with a running SSP and Omega with a moonsault off the ropes for two. Page jumped off the top and onto Kazarian in the crowd. Omega with a Buckle Bomb on Sky followed by sitout spinebuster for a two count. Sky went for a German Suplex, Omega moved, V-Trigger knee and Sky avoided the finisher. Omega with a kick, but Sky came back with a hurricanrana off the top. Omega was holding Sky, then Page went into the ring with the Buckshot Lariat, Sky moved and Page hit Omega by accident. Sky hit the TKO off the shoulders for a two count. There’s another tease of Kenny/Page problems.
(Commercial – Kazarian with a slingshot on Page onto the ramp and he hit a Cutter on the ramp. Sky launched Kazarian into the air for a DDT off the top on Omega for a two count. Great nearfall there. Sky held Omega, who fought it off, Page pulled Kazarian out of the ring and Omega hit a running knee on Sky to knock him down. Page and Kazarian exchanged punches followed by Page hitting a spinning clothesline for a two count.)
Page had Kazarian set up on the top rope and gave him a fallaway slam across the ring. Omega tagged back in, Page with a clothesline on Kazarian, Omega launched Kazarian into a German Suplex by Page. Omega with a Snapdragon Suplex on Sky and then a Tiger Driver 98 slam onto the head of Kazarian for a two count. Sky with a jumping knee on Omega, then the SCU Later double team move with Kazarian hitting the knee on Omega, but Page tackled Sky onto Kazarian/Omega to break up the pin. Page pulled Omega to the ropes and Page got the tag. I don’t know how long all four guys were in the ring, but it was a long time. Page with a lariat on Kazarian in the ring, then a Buckshot Lariat on Sky on the ramp. Back in the ring, Page hit the Buckshot Lariat on Kazarian for the pinfall win after 19 minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page
Analysis: **** It’s the first title change in AEW history and first title change on Dynamite. This was an outstanding tag team match. I was really impressed by it. Omega stood out the most, but all four guys were awesome. The fact that they delivered the goods isn’t a surprise at all considering the talent of the four guys in the match. It would have been nice if it was a heel/face feud with a storyline going in, but as a match itself, it was a lot of fun to watch. Kazarian and Sky had a pretty good run as the champions with several quality matches along the way. I like that Page got the win for his team because he was hurt by some inconsistent booking over the last couple of months, so this made him look like a big star to get the win for the team.
After the match, The Young Bucks went into the ring to congratulate their Elite buddies Page and Omega. Page grabbed a beer from a fan, then Page went into the crowd for some crowd surfing along with some beer drinking. Omega stood in the ring with the Young Bucks while his partner Page enjoyed the win on his own with the crowd.
There was a plug for the AEW Revolution PPV on February 29.
Priscilla Kelly made her entrance. She’s got a unique look to her and she’s only 22 years old. She is married to AEW’s Darby Allin. Britt Baker, who is a dentist as they like to tell us, made her entrance. The announcers mentioned her changing her attitude, which means heel turn.
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Priscilla Kelly
Baker got two rollups, then a takeover and Kelly grabbed an armbar.
(Commercial – Kelly took control with a kick followed by a chinlock. Kelly choked Baker over the middle rope followed by some weak looking kicks.)
Kelly hit a running dropkick to the back of Baker against the ropes. Baker did a hair pull to take down Kelly as the announcers said they weren’t used to that from her. Baker with two clotheslines, then a running knee and a Slingblade neckbreaker for a two count. Kelly with a pump kick to the face followed by a STO trip for a two count. Baker with a superkick followed by the Lockjaw submission, she kicked off the ropes and Kelly tapped out to give Baker the win after about six minutes.
Winner by submission: Dr. Britt Baker
Analysis: *1/2 This was a boring match. There wasn’t much to it. Baker needed a win, so it was about putting her over. Some of the stuff Baker does in the ring looks good and other times she looks sloppy in the ring. Kelly has some potential, but I don’t know if she’ll be in AEW regularly. The women’s division has a lot of people right now without any storylines that are interesting.
Baker was interviewed in the ring by Tony Schiavone as Tony said that the ending to that match was a bit questionable. Baker said that this is Tony’s meal ticket because before this, he was working at Starbucks. The fans reacted to that with an “ooohhh” because it was a shot at Tony. Baker said that Tony was working as a shitty barista, but he’s here and they don’t look down at you for that. Tony had this "what the f**k" look on his face. Baker was getting booed by the fans while Baker said that she’s a role model and the hottest girl on this boat. Baker said she’s smart, she’s educated, she’s brilliant and she’s a dentist. JR cut it off and said they’ll take a break right now.
Analysis: It was a decent effort by Baker with the heel promo. I think the dialogue was fine and it got heat because she was genuinely mean to Tony there, but the way she delivered the lines felt off. She may be the nicest girl out there and then having her act as a heel just felt awkward a bit.
The Jurassic Express trio of Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt made their entrance for a tag team match.
The team of Santana and Ortiz entered as two of the opponents. Chris Jericho, the AEW World Champion, joined his Inner Circle teammates and the fans were singing the “Judas” song that Jericho uses as his theme song. That’s cool. Jericho was joined by his buddy “Big Hurt” Jake Hager. Jericho loved the crowd singing his song Judas. Yes, Jericho’s a heel, but AEW fans cheer a lot of the wrestlers.
Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Santana and Ortiz) w/Jake Hager vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt)
Jungle Boy reminded Jericho that he almost beat him several weeks ago when they wrestled to a draw as Boy hit a dropkick on Jericho. Ortiz tagged in, Boy with a hurricanrana and Ortiz avoided a dropkick. Boy with an arm drag on Ortiz followed by a dropkick. Luchasaurus tagged in, Boy with a neckbreaker, Stunt tagged in and jumped off the shoulders with a splash on Ortiz. Stunt was wearing a life jacket. Stunt hit a swinging DDT on Santana and then he took off his life jacket. Luchasaurus decked Santana with a boot to the face. Stunt did some punches to the ribs that looked comical. Boy tagged in with a kick to the back for a two count. Boy ended up isolated in the heel corner as Santana hit a Russian legsweep off the middle ropes.
(Commercial – The heels worked over Jungle Boy as the face in peril. Jericho worked over boy with multiple body slams and the heels did some illegal choking as well. Ortiz with a body slam on Boy, Santana tagged back in and hit a suplex, then another suplex – leading to some “Eddie” chants – then passed off to Ortiz and Jericho slammed Boy down.)
Jericho stepped on Boy’s hair and pulled up on the arms. Jericho with a clothesline and Santana tagged in with a backbreaker. Jericho missed a corner clothesline, Boy got a rollup for two and Jericho prevented a tag. Jericho set up Boy on the top, three chops to the chest and Boy blocked a superplex attempt with a front suplex. Boy hit a cross body block off the top on Jericho for a two count. Santana and Ortiz hit a running senton combination followed by Ortiz hitting a headbutt for two. Boy came back with a reverse rana on Ortiz. Luchasaurus got the hot tag with kicks for the heels, then a spin kick on Santana and Ortiz saved Jericho from a Chokeslam with his back scratch move. Luchasaurus with a headbutt on Ortiz, then a spin kick on Santana and Luchasaurus hit a double Chokeslam on Ortiz and Jericho followed by a standing moonsault for two. Hager punched Luchasaurus, so Luchasaurus punched him and Stunt got the tag. Luchasaurus left his team so he can brawl with Hager to the back. Stunt hit a 450 Splash off the top on Jericho for a two count. Stunt got two more two counts on Jericho, but then Jericho came back with the Judas Effect elbow to the face of Stunt for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Santana and Ortiz)
Analysis: *** It was a solid six-man tag team match with the obvious finish because in AEW they do a good job of booking the champion Jericho strong. Jungle Boy continues to impress with his selling and offense. I think they need to feature Luchasaurus more because he’s popular with the fans, but they just haven’t done enough with him. They have something special with Luchasaurus, that's for sure. Santana and Ortiz are one of my favorite teams in AEW. They work well with Jericho. The end was okay with Jericho putting away Stunt with the elbow after Stunt got a couple of nearfalls.
There was a video package showing the MJF feud with Cody where MJF had three stipulations and Cody agreed to them.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance for a singles match. There was no Wardlow with him this week.
Joey Janela entered as MJF’s opponent. He got a good pop from the crowd. Janela had some dreadlocks on his head to change his look a bit.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Joey Janela
MJF shoved Janela into the turnbuckle to start the match. There was a lot of posturing and playing to the crowd to start the match with Janela slapping MJF’s hand, so MJF spit in his face. Janela whipped MJF into the ropes, so MJF walked back to the entrance area and did an eye rake to Janela when Joey went up top. Back in the ring, Janela with a back body drop and MJF rolled away from a top rope move. MJF hid behind referee Aubrey Edwards, then hit Janela with a forearm and a hard whip into the corner. MJF with a body slam.
(Commercial – MJF remained in control during the split screen action with a backbreaker and a casual pin attempt.)
Janela got some momentum going with a superplex off the top rope for a two count. Janela went up top, which is when Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford showed up (Janela’s ex-girlfriend) to start making out by the entrance. Janela was distracted by that. Janela went for a splash after a long delay, MJF moved and MJF hit the Double Cross (his version of Cody’s finisher) for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: MJF
Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average match to put over MJF ahead of his expected match with Cody next month at Revolution. Janela hasn’t had much to do for months, but he’s now feuding with Sabian, so that’s why Kip was here for the distraction. This felt like a four minute match where they were told to go eight minutes and didn’t know how to fill the time.
MJF did a post match promo asking the fans if they love him (boo) and then he said the fans love Cody while saying Cody is a real lyricist. MJF mentioned Cody saying that MJF is just another chapter in his book and MJF said Cody was right while adding he’s the last chapter.
Cody made his entrance and he was rocking a purple suit along with a blue tie. The announcers reminded us that Cody had a deal with MJF where Cody can’t touch him or he’ll lose the chance at a match at Revolution.
MJF told Cody to stop as Cody stood on the ramp beside the ring. MJF said that Cody is excited because Wardlow isn’t there and he added that Cody can’t touch him, which is when Cody went face to face with him. MJF said no matter what he says or does, Cody can’t lay a finger about that and “I’m so sincerely sorry about that.” MJF was about to give him the microphone, then he dropped it and kicked the microphone to the side. Cody picked up the microphone as MJF left the ring and walked onto the ramp.
The fans chanted “Asshole” at MJF, so Cody pointed out that the fans were calling him an asshole. The Young Bucks showed up behind MJF and MJF had no idea. Cody said that he can’t touch Max, but “they” can. The Young Bucks gave MJF a double superkick. Cody asked if they should throw Max in the pool, so the Young Bucks went over to the pool near the ring and they tossed Max into the pool. The fans loved that.
Analysis: That was some good promo work from MJF as usual. It was also a fun angle to give Cody the advantage by using The Young Bucks to attack MJF. The story has seen MJF in control for most of it, so it was nice to see the babyface Cody stand tall this time. Seeing somebody get tossed in a pool is always fun too.
Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page, the new AEW Tag Team Champions, were interviewed on the cruise by Tony Schiavone. Omega said they did something special today while Page said they whooped both of their asses. Omega addressed Pac saying he’ll get his rubber match and don’t worry about it, but these titles are a priority. The Young Bucks went up to them to congratulate the new champions. Page said that he’s surprised that they won these things before the Young Bucks did. Page left as Nick Jackson wondered what that was all about and that was the end.
Analysis: It continued the storyline that Page continues to act differently with some smartass comments in there about how they won the titles before the Young Bucks won the titles.
Next week on Dynamite in Cleveland:
* Chris Jericho, Santana and Ortiz vs. Darby Allin & Private Party
* The Young Bucks vs. The Butcher & The Blade
* Kip Sabian vs. Cody
Analysis: Those matches are okay, but there’s nothing on there that’s as good as the tag team title match this week or the main event this week.
It was main event time, so Chris Jericho showed up with the AEW World Title to join the commentary team of Jim Ross and Excalibur for this match. Jericho called Excalibur “mumble-mouth” while adding that he wants to see this match up close.
Pac made his entrance for the main event. He’s one of the few true heels in the company and one of my favorite wrestlers there.
Jon Moxley made his entrance from the top of the cruise ship and he had a bandage covering his right eye following the angle last week where Jericho hit him with a spike in the eye (well above the eye), so Moxley sold it like he was blinded by it. Jericho said they are both tough bastards, but they don’t have what it takes to beat him.
Moxley and “The Bastard” Pac stood in the ring as ring announcer Justin Roberts did the introductions. Roberts did the usual thing where he yells “Jon” loudly for about five seconds.
Number One Contender’s Match for the AEW World Title: Jon Moxley vs. “The Bastard” Pac
There were just under 20 minutes for the match, so there was plenty of time. Moxley was doing a good job of selling the right eye injury, then he hit a German Suplex and clothesline, but Pac hit him in the eye with an elbow. Jericho said that the eye injury was Moxley’s fault because he said no to the Inner Circle. Pac worked over Moxley with forearm shots to the face. The fans were chanting as Jericho pointed out that the chant was “Your ship sucks” as another ship was pulling up beside them at the port of Nassau. That’s pretty funny that they would chant that. Pac with a knee drop on Moxley’s right eye. They went to the small area outside the ring where Pac slammed Moxley’s right eye onto the ring apron repeatedly.
(Commercial – The referee told them they were in the commercial part of the match, I think. Moxley sent Pac over the barricade and they went brawling into the crowd on the cruise ship while the referee followed them. It was not a No DQ match, but JR did a good job of saying the referee didn’t want to do a countout or a finish like that. They went up some stairs, then Pac bumped down the stairs. Moxley punched Pac with some beers as they got back towards the ring.)
They were back in the ring where Pac drove the eye of Moxley into the top rope, then a missile dropkick from Pac and Moxley came back with a big clothesline. Pac with a kick to the ribs, Moxley got him hooked and hit a suplex into a slam for a two count. Pac did a unique spot like a jawbreaker, except he put his head against the right eye of Moxley, so it was like an eyebreaker move. Moxley went up top, Pac followed, Moxley shoved him down and Moxley missed an elbow drop because Pac got the knees up to block. Pac went for the Brutalizer submission, Moxley countered into a two count and Pac came back with an enziguri kick to the head. Pac kicked Moxley in the eye repeatedly followed by a running dropkick to the head for two. Pac went up top, he went for a splash, but Moxley got the knees up to block and Moxley got a two count. Pac sent Moxley into the ropes leading to a release German Suplex. Pac went up top again, he went for the Black Arrow, Moxley moved and Pac hit the mat hard. They were both down for a few moments. Pac with a kick to the ribs, Moxley blocked a kick, then a kick to the ribs by Mox and Moxley hit a double arm DDT for a two count. Pac left the ring, Moxley went after him and sent him back into the ring. Moxley went up top, so Pac met him up there and hit a superplex. Pac slapped on the Brutalizer submission move, but Moxley managed to get his right foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Pac ripped off the bandage that Moxley had on his face followed by some punches. Moxley with an inside cradle for two. Moxley hit another double arm DDT on Pac. Moxley picked up Pac and hit the Paradigm Shift DDT on Pac for the pinfall win after about 18 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good match with Moxley getting the win as expected since it has been obvious for months that he would be the next challenger for Jericho’s AEW World Title. Moxley was selling the eye injury very well while Pac did a nice job of attacking it. The finish was booked well with Moxley hitting the Paradigm Shift that put down Pac for good. I think the Paradigm Shift is one of the best finishers in AEW – maybe the best and I like how it is protected so much that nobody gets to kick out of it. Jericho was terrific on commentary, which is no surprise.
After the match was over, Jericho stood by the entrance wit the AEW World Title while staring at Moxley in the ring. That’s the AEW World Title match at Revolution on February 29. Moxley pointed at Jericho and that was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Kenny Omega/Adam Page
2. SCU’s Frankie Kazarian/Scorpio Sky
3. (tie) Jon Moxley
3. (tie) Pac
This week: 7.5 (out of 10)
Last week: 6.25
2020 Average: 7.13
Last 5 Weeks: 6.25, 7.75, 7, 6.75, 6.25, 7
This week’s Dynamite gets a 7.5 out of 10.
This was a pretty good show carried by the excellent opening tag team match and a quality main event as well. Most of the other matches were solid. They still have a weak spot on every show with the women’s division that is sorely lacking in terms of interesting storylines.
The title change with Omega/Page beating SCU was a bit of a surprise, but I like how it was booked and it will be fun to see how well Omega/Page do as the champions since they have had issues in the past.
Moxley beating Pac in the main event sets up the obvious AEW World Title match at Revolution with Chris Jericho defending against Moxley. That’s going to be a lot of fun especially after the long build they have had to get to the match.
The next AEW PPV is called AEW Revolution on Saturday, February 29 in Chicago. Here’s what we know so far.
AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Jon Moxley
That’s all for now. Cody vs. MJF is likely, but it’s not official yet.
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