Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: February 2, 2022
AEW Dynamite was back in Chicago and had the normally red hot crowd watch them have a fairly good show with a hot main event and only one absolutely terrible segment.
Jon Moxley defeated Wheeler Yuta
Wheeler Yuta was a late substitution for a match with Jon Moxley.
Yuta brought Danhausen and Orange Cassidy and gave a nice effort but was still beaten pretty decisively. “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson comes out and to the surprise of everyone, tries to recruit Moxley. Pitched it so well, even the commentary team was thinking “That’s a good idea”. Those two–hell, just Dragon–with Lee Moriarty and/or Daniel Garcia is the stuff of wrestling dreams.
VINCE IS BOOKING DYNAMITE!!!
I have almost nothing good to say about the Dan Lambert-Brandi Rhodes segment. A huge waste of damn time that screamed “VINCE IS BOOKING DYNAMITE!!” That entire segment can kiss my Black 🍑.
The backstage segment with the Andrade-Hardy Family Office and the booking of Isiah Kassidy challenging for the TNT title on Rampage was fine. Andrade still talking like Sting is Darby Allin’s boss is still funny to me.
The Kings of the Black Throne defeated Death Triangle
The Kings of the Black Throne, Malakai Black and Brody King, beat Penta and PAC of Death Triangle. It got good once we got past thinking PAC was about to break out his new Birdbox gimmick.
Nyla Rose defeated Ruby Soho
“The Native Beast” Nyla Rose got a big win over Ruby Soho in a pretty good match. Started slow but picked up. I do love how Rose leans back on her pin after her Beast Bomb. Some great analyst work by Jim Ross to explain why Rose should go for the cover every time. That dude JR is good.
Gunn Club–Billy Gunn and sons, Austin and Colten–jumped on Jungle Boy Jack Perry backstage. Good. Perry didn’t act brand new and threw the first punch since he knew the asskicking was coming. I thought one of the Gunn sons should have done most of the work and not Billy, my only issue with this.
The Other Vince is Booking AEW
World champion Adam “Hangman” Page decided he didn’t want to wait to fight “Murderhawk” Lance Archer and messed around and found out. Lambert was out again and served no purpose. Jake Roberts was right there. Let him do what he’s always done best: talk. Since he isn’t anywhere close to a top 5 spot, if anyone should be booked to have a real match this week, it should have been Archer. Build him up in the ring. A little lazy and booking too fast. This whole thing has felt like the other Vince is booking AEW.
Main Event: MJF defeated CM Punk
Maxwell Jacob Friedman got the biggest win of his career, beating Chicago’s biggest babyface since Hawk and Animal (kayfabe from Chicago) in CM Punk. I loved this. I think MJF has a lot of room to improve as a real heat-seeking heel on the mic but he was great here and the booking was great. Outstanding false finish with MJF seemingly choking Punk out with some rope hidden by his arm and the match being restarted when the referee finds it after the fall.
Punk sold a compromised left arm for the first half and then a banged-up knee later. Some good wrestling with two guys not really seen as top grapplers (like a Danielson or Garcia on that roster and good brawling from guys a notch below elite brawlers like Archer and Eddie Kingston.) Loved seeing Punk break the Pepsi Plunge out. Loved even more how they protected it since he didn’t pin MJF with it without Friedman kicking out of it. That would be how to protect piledrivers too. Just sayin’.
Punk got distracted by the late arrival of Wardlow and got whacked by a diamond ring-wearing MJF (a ring passed to him by Wardlow. (Great camera shot) and suffered his first loss in AEW in front of a near-silent crowd. I bet that’s how it sounded when Ivan Koloff beat Bruno in the Garden in Jan 71.
A good show that closed with a strong main event.
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Reviews by Dave is the best wrestling review on the internet! It’s written by David Houston II, who writes about WWE NXT 2.0, AEW Dynamite, and IMPACT Wrestling.
David E Houston II he’s attended small independent shows with less than 100 people and large stadium shows with over 20,000 fans and live worldwide pay-per-views.