AEW Dynamite #15 – Bash at the Beach
We’re in Miami, Florida. Hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur.
Kenny Omega & Adam Page vs. Proud N’ Powerful vs. Young Bucks vs. Best Friends
This clearly is heading towards a Hangman Page heel turn. With that in mind it would make sense for OmegPage to win and do the turn in the title match. SCU are the incumbent champions but Proud N’ Powerful are the ones to watch long term. The Bucks winning the tag belts is obviously a longer term storyline. This isn’t a storyline match but rather a bunch of guys who know each other really well do a bunch of high spots. At least PNP work resolutely heel to give the match some much needed structure. Although they can’t help but do an Eddie Guerrero tribute. The one storyline job they manage is Jackson tagging Omega when his brother is on the floor and it is notable how he choses Kenny over Page. Nobody trusts Adam Page. Why do you Kenneth? The match breaks down, because of course it does, and everyone hits a bunch of high spots culminating in a superplex to the floor from Trent? This unfortunately leads to a really dumb ref bump/quadruple suplex spot so Orange Cassidy can slip in and do comedy.
A Superkick Party occurs and it’s noticeable that the Bucks don’t want to Superkick poor helpless Adam Page and yet he then tags in blind on Matt and the Buckshot/V-Trigger finishes Chuck Taylor. Some clever stuff in here and a lot of crowd pleasing offence. I didn’t enjoy all of it but they are telling a story with Page and the Bucks and it works for me
Final Rating: ***3/4
Presented without comment.
Promo Time: Cody
Even when strolling down here to cut a promo Cody feels like a big deal. He’s done such a good job of making the Cody character feel extremely important. Running a major wrestling promotion helps!
Cody is out here to further the MJF storyline. MJF has given him several stipulations. One being that he has to wrestle Wardlow in a cage so Cody uses this as an opportunity to suggest that MJF is an inferior wrestler to Wardlow. Stir the pot! Cody is also due to be whipped and won’t be able to touch MJF until Revolution on Feb 29. “This is not your story, you’re simply a chapter in mine”. Another killer promo from Cody. He’s so good at this kind of thing.
Nightmare Collective (Brandi Rhodes & Mel) vs. Hikaru Shida & Kris Statlander
This Nightmare Collective bullshit is dragging down the show. Amazing Kong was due to wrestle here but she’s sick, so Brandi is a late sub in. That cannot be good for the match. The idea is that the babyfaces are faced with an uphill battle but Mel, who’s quite large, has to boss the match on her own. The stick to the original match structure too, which means the faces getting their shine on Mel while Brandi looks on ‘menacingly’. Did they have no one else around who could have subbed in? Also, why is Brandi a heel? It doesn’t make any sense. I guess they’re trying to keep her and Cody separate so they can do different things but Brandi isn’t good at this. Shida tries really, really hard to carry this match but there’s no saving it and it’s far too long. Just cut it down. The whole show just comes screaming to a halt here and that’s on Nightmare Collective. Stat dumps Mel on her head with a cradle piledriver and that’s the finish. Oh, come on, at least job out Brandi. This was bad. At least Shida and Statlander are great and will be a positive for the company going forwards.
Final Rating: *1/2
Video Control gives us this weird Dark Order thing where a higher power wants to recruit Kenny Omega. They want to recruit Adam Page.
Sammy Guevara vs. Jon Moxley
Sammy’s pre-match cue cards thing is cute. He shoots his shot at Vanessa Hudgens. Mox drives into the building because driving is over. Look at Steve Austin. Guevara is a talented young man but he’s a cruiserweight and Mox is a heavy. I can’t take Sammy seriously as an opponent for Mox so this ends up being an extended squash. Guevara does an excellent job of selling me on his chances with flips and dives and whatnot. It’s a TV match for sure so when they hit commercials Guevara hits a chinlock. It probably doesn’t need to be that long and a feeling I get from AEW is they’re still in the Indies mindset where people should get time to tell stories and it ends up featuring mismatches like this going too long. Mox is getting a title shot, he should be steamrolling Guevara. Sammy will get over with the cue cards gimmick and the flipz. You could even have Mox win with a secondary finish here. Mox is way too generous for my liking. The finish is a little odd with Guevara going after a moonsault and getting slapped in the sleeper with bodyscissors. That’s it. Weird match. The spots were fine but the overall arc of the match was strange.
Final Rating: **3/4
Post Match: The Inner Circle turn up and Jericho whips Mox with his title belt.
Then jabs him in the eye with a spike for good measure! They make a big deal out of it and have officials checking on Moxley. You need to emphasise injuries and they do a good job of it.
MJF & The Butcher and the Blade vs. DDP, Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall
This is DDP’s first match since the Andre in 2016 and his last tag outing was on a legends PPV in 2011. He officially ‘retired’ in 2005. He does keep in good shape though with DDP Yoga.
Meanwhile look at this cocky prick. He’s so perfect in this role. Quite why they tried to push him as a tweener for as long as they did makes no sense to me. I guess that Shawn Spears turn took precedent. I love Andy Williams but he doesn’t look great here. Dustin does a good job of taking heat in this. He has a lot of sympathy and in spite of his size he feels vulnerable due to his age. Speaking of age; Page is 63 years old and looks fine. There’s a lot to be said for DDP Yoga. The Diamond Cutters are cool but the fact he does a fucking dive to the floor, a dive to the fucking floor, speaks volumes about how healthy the man is. Then MJF rolls up QT for the sneaky win. This was awesome. Page looking in fine fettle and MJF maintaining his unbelievable heel work. Thumbs up.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Video Control takes us backstage a drunk Adam Page gets in the face of all of SCU. What an asshole. Kenny Omega plays peacemaker.
PAC vs. Darby Allin
This is an intriguing match. Like Mox/Guevara the firm favourite should be PAC for the big muscle and experience advantage but Allin is a fucking nutcase who will sacrifice his own body to damage his opponent. His dives are insanely fast and it makes PAC look sluggish! PAC is merciless in putting Allin in his place. Swinging him into the ring steps to prevent a dive, slamming him on the ring steps or hurling him at the guardrail. Darby looks like he’s going to get crushed but somehow pulls out this ridiculous counter off the top and follows it with a Coffin Drop. Darby is bleeding, broken and just barely on top! The difference between this and the opener is that there’s a feeling of intensity and a desire to win here. Plus a nice underlying storyline and visible rewards for fans of realistic styles. Whether it’s the accidental blood or Darby getting plastered with a lariat or killed with a sitout powerbomb. It’s a gritty, no nonsense match and both guys kill it. Black Arrow finishes. Hey, this fucking ruled.
Final Rating: ****
Post Match: PAC declares himself the #1 contender but Mox strolls out here with his eye covered up. “I don’t care if I’m blind…I will be there next week”.