AEW Dynamite Highlights – Eye for an Eye (2/12/20)


Welcome back to the AEW Dynamite Highlights portion of Last Word on Pro Wrestling. Scott is out this week, and in his stead, I will be covering some of the major highlights from this week’s show. This action-packed show was capped off by a singles match featuring one full set of eyes between both competitors. “Eye for an eye” is apropos, as Jon Moxley faced The Inner Circle‘s own, Santana.

Dynamite Notes:

Photo / All Elite Wrestling

AEW World Tag Team Champions “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega retained against SCU in the opening contest. Prior to the match, Dark Order appeared on screen to wish both teams good luck. However, they teased that one of the Dark Order may be closer than they think. Post-match, Dark Order confronted SCU, who are joined by Best Friends. The Butcher, The Blade, The Bunny, The Hybrid 2, and The Young Bucks come out after. This leads to a big brawl, hyping next week’s battle royal to determine new number one contenders for the AEW World Tag Team Championship.

Dustin Rhodes defeated Sammy Guevara following the Final Reckoning. During the match, Rhodes had multiple face-offs with Jake Hager, who was in the corner of Guevara. Afterward, Rhodes took the mic, addressing “Jericho’s bitch,” Hager. Rhodes said that Hager failed in MMA, continues to fail in AEW, and challenged him to a match at AEW Revolution.

Tony Schiavone conducted an interview with Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. Regarding her post-match attack on Yuka Sakazaki last week, Baker considered it a favor as a dentist. Schiavone asked Baker about tonight’s AEW Women’s World Championship match. Baker said Riho and Nyla Rose are still number two compared to her. She has the crowd heated, particularly after her Whataburger insult, Jim Ross having to call for a commercial break.

Pac called out Kenny Omega in a promo package, calling him “scared” since their showdown in Chicago. In two weeks, they face one another in the rubber match that Pac demanded for weeks beforehand. There isn’t much to say about this other than two details. One, Pac is one of the best villains in AEW and wrestling in general. Second, between this and Darby Allin‘s videos, AEW has fully embraced the black-and-white style of video.

Nyla Rose Challenges Riho for the AEW Women’s World Championship

Following the vicious attack on Riho by Nyla Rose, the AEW Women’s World Champion entered this match at a disadvantage. Then again, it isn’t like Riho isn’t an underdog in her own right. Despite being the inaugural AEW Women’s World Champion, Riho stands a 5’1”, making “The Native Beast” that much more of a challenge. Furthermore, after failed multiple failed attempts at winning gold, Rose entered this match with both a renewed focus and harder-hitting aggression.

Despite being the smaller of the two combatants, Riho began the match hard and fast. I’m of the opinion that clear contrasts in wrestling are best, which makes Rose’s comparatively stronger offense that much more evident. When Nyla was able to catch an airborne Rose in midair, it was an impressive feat, to say the least. As a table aficionado, Rose brought one out early in the match. Despite hitting powerful maneuvers like a top rope knee drop and an avalanche Death Valley Driver, Riho was all heart, using her guts and courage to fight back. The match ended when Rose planted Riho to become the new AEW Women’s World Champion.

One of the highlights of this match had to be Riho using Omega’s move, the snap dragon suplex, to fight back against the dominant Rose. Speaking of, Rose looked like an absolute destroyer, eating three devastating top rope double stomps from Riho. In terms of the result, I believed that it was the right move. While Riho is one of the most popular stars in AEW, her appearances on Dynamite have been sporadic. Conversely, Rose is a full-time AEW star, so putting the title on her makes sense. Expect to see her hold the title for a lengthy period as the monster of the women’s division.

MJF vs. Jungle Boy

In what was considered one of the big events of tonight’s show, MJF faced Jungle Boy in singles competition. To say that these are two contrasting personalities would be an understatement. While MJF is known for being arrogant, unashamed to fight dirty to reach his goals, Jungle Boy is humble and fights with a sense of honor. One can make the argument that this match against “The Salt of the Earth” is one of the biggest contests Jungle Boy has faced yet. At the announce desk sat Brandi Rhodes, none too happy with MJF’s actions from last week.

In this match, MJF’s cockiness and Jungle Boy’s quiet confidence couldn’t have been overlooked. When MJF extended his hand to shake Jungle Boy’s out of “respect,” the wild-haired wrestler was wise to respond with more fast-paced offense. When MJF slowed the pace, Jungle Boy fought back, unleashing multiple dives to the delight of a hot crowd. MJF focused on Jungle Boy’s weakened back, cinching in a standing stretch. He then took to taunting Brandi at the desk, which gave Jungle Boy the chance to hit a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall. Wardlow sneaked over to slide MJF’s Dynamite Diamond on his hand. From there, MJF clocked Jungle Boy and hit the Double Cross for the win.

As if Jungle Boy’s loss wasn’t enough, Wardlow laid him out once more. Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt rushed down to their partner’s aid. An irate Luchasaurus invited Wardlow back in the ring as AEW Dynamite went to commercial. In terms of the match itself, I don’t believe that the result was in doubt. MJF is set for a high-profile match at Revolution against Cody, but Jungle Boy got in a fair amount of offense. He’s one of the most favorable wrestlers by the fans, which can be said about Jurassic Express as a whole, so expect him to see success in the years to come.

Jon Moxley vs. Santana – Eye for an Eye

On last week’s AEW Dynamite, Jon Moxley exacted revenge on The Inner Circle in his own way. After having his eye taken out by a spike, courtesy of AEW World Champion Chris Jericho, Moxley returned fire by stabbing the eye of Santana. This week, Moxley and Santana met in singles competition, “eye for an eye” if you will. While Moxley is set to face Jericho for the title at AEW Revolution, Santana would prove to be no small obstacle, especially after having his eyesight severely compromised.

Earlier in the show, Jim Ross sat down with Santana for an emotional inteview. Santana recalled his father, who he called during the darkest time of his life. Santana revealed that his father started going blind at age 14 and would unable to see anything in his mid-20s. This made Moxley’s attack on him drive him that much more. This, along with the targeting of Moxley by the Inner Circle, made this match all the more must-see. Later, Jericho announced that, next week, Moxley will face Jeff Cobb.

Moxley/Santana didn’t even begin in the ring; they started by brawling in the crowd in the fashion of a true fight. Once they were back in the ring, Moxley kept control of the match. Santana attempted to drive Moxley’s face against the nearby steps, but to no avail. As the match unfolded, Jericho, Guevara, and Hager watched from the luxury box. Santana stayed in the match, hitting a stalling piledriver for a two-count. Ortiz soon got involved, tossing alcohol into the good eye of Moxley. Despite a frog splash Santana followed up with, Moxley stayed in the match. Though Moxley’s vision was impaired, he managed to hit the Paradigm Shift for the pinfall victory.

Post-match, Moxley was jumped by Ortiz and the rest of The Inner Circle. Jericho even took to whipping Moxley across the back with the AEW World Championship. Hager followed up with a knee, Guevara hit a 450 splash, and Jericho provided the exclamation point with the Judas Effect. Jericho motioned to the stage, bringing out Jeff Cobb! The newest AEW talent planted Moxley with the Tour of the Islands as The Inner Circle stood tall. This image is what AEW Dynamite closed out on.

This was a hot episode of AEW Dynamite and the final moments of this show had much to do with that. Though he’s largely a tag team wrestler now, Santana more than held his own against Moxley in this fight. Perhaps most notable, though, was the debut of Cobb! He may very well be one of the best signees of this company. Cobb’s reputation as a wrestler is nothing short of stellar, and with The Inner Circle at his side, the sky is very much the limit.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite every Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific on TNT and internationally on AEW Plus on Fite TV.

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