Reviews by Dave
By David E Houston II
Show air date: January 26, 2022
AEW Dynamite presented their sarcastically titled “Beach Break” from the shores of sunny Cleveland, Ohio in January (I’m expecting a “Blizzard Blast” to be telecast from San Antonio in July) and they pulled out all the stunts this week.
Sammy Guevara defeated Cody Rhodes
In a Ladder Match for the TNT Championship
No long intros, just straight to the in-ring. Justin Roberts’ introductions was a refreshing touch for the TNT title unification ladder match between lineal champion Cody Rhodes and interim champion “The Spanish God” Sammy Guevara. Cody was going hard to try to work up a reaction. Calm down, son, we see you.
A fun spectacle. I’m over ladder matches because they can all blend into each other for me at this point but both guys went out to put on a big, memorable event, whether it made sense or not. I admit checking all the way out when Guevara draped Rhodes on a ladder on the outside instead of just going for the titles. Then when he did, Rhodes still was able to meet him at the top of the ladder. I was surprised to see Guevara win but this makes me curious as to how they continue Rhodes’ slow-motion heel turn.
Loved the freezing cold promo from “Absolute” Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs with Tony Schiavone.
Wardlow defeated James Alexander and Elijah Dean
Hometown boy Wardlow went out and Nikita’ed James Alexander and Elijah Dean except instead of Russian Sickles, it was the Powerbomb Symphony. He then stops Shawn Spears from laying into the fallen guys with a chair. He’s getting fed up with more than just MJF.
The Inner Circle defeated 2point0 and Daniel Garcia
The Inner Circle is another group having personnel issues (something AEW needs to address) “Le TRUMPion” Chris Jericho teaming with Santana and Ortiz to beat 2point0 and Daniel Garcia. Good match considering Santana and Ortiz worked most of it on their own as they have had enough of Jericho’s shit and I understand. Let’s note Santana won with a piledriver so Matt Lee must still have his NXT neck.
It’s bad enough Lancer Archer has just gotten himself a world title shot out of nowhere but how did he get the power to book the stip? Book with some more patience TK, you’re doing too much.
Private Party are number one ranked? How? Who they beat?
CM Punk Challenges MJF
CM Punk came out in his long boys and challenged Maxwell Jacob Friedman to finally fight. Of course, they don’t but did some okay work to promote their match next week when Dynamite will be coming from Chicago. Punk was good but MJF needed to get in some Cleveland jabs in a very basic way. How dare he call anyone/where else “mid”. Some good heel work in having Wardlow, who is still MJF’s bodyguard, come out with the rest of Pinnacle and deliver the final blow in a beatdown.
Leyla Hirsch defeated Red Velvet
Another set of friends who can’t get along had to get it on as Leyla Hirsch, doing some nice heel work lately, beat Red Velvet by countering a kick with a roll-up and hooking the tights. Probably didn’t need the tights pulled since she immediately grabbed Velvet in a cross arm breaker.
Not bad at all but probably placed poorly as the crowd energy seemed to ebb. I blame that on neither of these women being focused on much lately and then given that spot following Punk/MJF. Jim Ross for the line of the night “I never understood this magical wall where everyone stops” when Kris Statlander stopped chasing Hirsch when she made the save.
Talking Forever and About Nothing
I usually like Women’s champion Dr. Britt Baker DMD’s promos but Bastalmighty, it seemed like she was talking forever and about nothing.
I always think “The Native Beast” Nyla Rose is good on the mic but I’m with Ross on this one, if she wants Ruby Soho, tell your manager. She’s standing right there not saying shit.
Main Event: Orange Cassidy defeated Adam Cole
The best part of the Lights Out main event between Adam Cole and Orange Cassidy for me? Ross name-checking a LO match between “Cowboy” Bill Watts and Bob Sweetan. A good brawl, and I think the Danhausen cameo was interesting (if random AF, which should be his new thing around the industry). It felt to me they should have had either this match or the ladder match, not both. Too similar even though they were an hour apart.
The parade of friends in the middle of it was way too messy and didn’t help the match at all for me. One of them kicked out of a piledriver so no one forgot they were watching Dynamite. Cassidy finally won a singles match over Cole when OC grabbed Cole in the softest looking bearhug ever–which Cole couldn’t break because OC has Angle-like grip strength now–and drove both of them through a staging area.
In an old-school type booking deal, Cole won most of the matches, OC won the feud in the blowoff so both come out undamaged so there’s that. An exciting show, I’ll give it that. Didn’t feel like something I would watch twice but a fine way to pass a couple of hours.
Thanks for reading! Tell us what you thought about the January 26, 2022 episode of AEW Dynamite in the comment section below or on our social media platforms. Use the hashtags #DDTDivas and #ReviewsByDave
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.