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Hall’s AEW Dynamite Review 2.8.23

February 8, 2023 | Posted by Thomas Hall
AEW Dynamite MJF Image Credit: AEW
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Hall’s AEW Dynamite Review 2.8.23  

Date: February 8, 2023
Location: County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz

It’s a title themed show this week as we have two title matches plus a pair of eliminator matches. That should be enough to make for a good night as AEW tends to treat its titles seriously. The build towards Revolution continues and we should be getting some more added to the card. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Konosuke Takeshita

Non-title. MJF’s offer of a handshake is brushed off to start so Takeshita hammers down some right hands in the corner. A knee is blocked and MJF sends him into the corner to take over. We hit the armbar, followed by a hammerlock DDT for two on Takeshita. Back up and Takeshita hits a quick brainbuster for two and a frog splash (remember we’re in Eddie’s hometown) gets the same.

Takeshita traps the legs and hits a Tombstone, followed by a wheelbarrow suplex to send MJF outside. MJF gets in a shot of his own and takes it back inside, with Takeshita being put up top. Takeshita hits a heck of a clothesline to knock MJF back down, but a superkick rocks Takeshita as well. The armbar goes on but Takeshita fights up and sends him to the floor for the big flip dive.

Back in and MJF rolls outside again, only to be sent right back inside. That lets him kick the rope for a low blow to take over but a powerbomb onto the knee just hurts MJF. Takeshita hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for another near fall and the knee to the face gets two, with MJF putting his foot on the ropes. Back up and MJF avoids a springboard Swanton and the Salt of the Earth finishes Takeshita at 13:16.

Rating: B. Solid match here, as the champ gets a win without cheating for the finish (though not without cheating entirely). You need to have MJF get a win or two like this every so often to remind people that there is something behind just being a weasel. Good opener, and the show is off to a hot start.

Post match MJF hits him in the face with the diamond ring. Takeshita is busted open and Bryan Danielson makes the save.

Samoa Joe is ready to end Wardlow.

Bunny vs. Jamie Hayter

Non-title again with Penelope Ford, Britt Baker and Rebel here too. Bunny starts fast and grabs a choke over the ropes. They head outside with Hayter getting suplexed into the steps as we take an early break. Back with Baker holding up a Hayterade sign but Ford breaks it up. Hayter tries some kind of a suplex and drops Bunny on her head, setting up the ripcord lariat for the pin at 6:12. That felt a lot like Bunny got knocked silly as they were only back from a break for about thirty seconds.

Rating: C-. The match wasn’t much before the sudden ending but above all else, Hayter didn’t need to lariat her if there was even the slightest chance Bunny was hurt. She got dropped on her head, so just give her a weak cover for the pin. Either way, Hayter gets to look strong, but hopefully Bunny isn’t too banged up.

Saraya and Toni Storm make fun of homegrown AEW women and spray paint Leva Bates. Today I learned Leva Bates still works here.

MJF thought Takeshita was the next big thing and Bryan Danielson thinks MJF is nothing. We hear about MJF getting a bunch of speeding tickets in his Camaro and then taking his big crush (with what sounded like a nod to Liv Morgan) out for a ride. After the girl got doing…something, they hit a phone pole at 90 miles an hour and got knocked out. The cops were coming but MJF switched their places so he wouldn’t lose his license. He goes into a rant about how there are winners and losers in life and he’ll prove he’s a winner at Revolution. I’m not sure why he just admitted to what has to be a crime, but it was intense.

Garcia-Guevara Gauntlet

Ricky Starks is running the gauntlet and starts with Angelo Parker. After a few shots in the corner, Starks hits the spear for the pin at 1:11. Matt Menard comes in and gets rolled up for the pin at 1:28 total. Daniel Garcia is in third and chokes away in the corner but has to dodge the spear as we take a break. Back with Starks fighting out of a choke but the Roshambo is countered. They fight to the apron and Starks knocks him to the floor. Cue a fan in a mask to knock Starks silly with a Judas Effect. Garcia gets the pin at 8:14.

Rating: C. This was an angle rather than a match for the most part, but I’m still not clear on why this feud is continuing. Starks pinned Jericho clean and is still feuding with him for a chance to do it again a month and a half later. That’s hardly the most logical way to go, but I’m sure Jericho thinks it’s brilliant for whatever reason.

And yeah it’s Chris Jericho, for some reason to Taz’s shock.

Billy Gunn is going to stay in the back for the Tag Team Title match. Scissoring with the Acclaimed ensues.

Bryan Danielson and Konosuke Takeshita get locked in the trainer’s room.

Rush vs. Bryan Danielson

If Danielson wins, he gets MJF in a sixty minute Iron Man match at Revolution. There is no Danielson so here is MJF to say ring the bell and count to ten. Aubrey Edwards starts as we see Danielson and Takeshita breaking down the door and making to the ring (MJF calling Aubrey a bum to make her count more slowly made sense).

MJF joins commentary as Rush beats up Danielson in the corner and goes after the bad arm. They go outside with Danielson being sent shoulder first into the barricade, with Danielson’s head being busted open. The slow beating continues as Rush poses a lot and MJF is rather pleased. Danielson fights back up and they go to the apron, with Danielson striking away. A charge lets Rush belly to belly him hard to the floor though and we take a break.

Back with Danielson not being able to get the LeBell Lock but sending Rush outside for some rams into the barricade. A missile dropkick connects back inside and they strike it out, with Danielson hitting the SI (si, SI) kicks to send Rush into the corner. Rush gets in a shot of his own though and a straitjacket piledriver gets two. The running knee connects for two on Rush and they exchange a lot of headbutts. Danielson is back up with another running knee for the pin at 15:48.

Rating: B-. Well at least the other gauntlet story is done as there wasn’t much of a point to running two at the same time. This sets up Danielson for the World Title match at Revolution, which should be interesting in a few ways. It’s also probably Rush’s best match in AEW, which doesn’t cover too much ground but it’s another name on the list of “he had his best match ever with Danielson”.

Some of the cast of Impractical Jokers are here and don’t like Chris Jericho, but they’ll let him show up on their season premiere.

Trios Titles: Elite vs. AR Fox/Top Flight

The Elite is defending. Matt takes Darius into the corner but gets suplexed down so the challengers can hit some slingshot hilos. The Bucks are right back up for the dropkicks before handing it off to Omega to plant Darius for two. We take a break and come back with Nick knocking the Martins down but Nick’s frog splash hits knees.

Fox comes in with a rolling splash on Nick but takes too long beating up Omega. The Bucks get sent outside though and it’s a big flip dive to take them down. Fox hits the Swanton for two on Omega back inside and the tag brings in Dante to flip over the Bucks. Matt manages a northern lights suplex and cradle on Top Flight at the same time before Fox hits another flip dive.

Back in and the Nose Dive into a 450 gives Fox two, with Omega making a save. We hit the parade of shots to the face until the Indytaker hits Fox for two, with the Martins making the save. Omega loads up a dive but gets rolled up for two. The doctor bomb gets two on Fox, followed by the V Trigger but the One Winged Angel is countered into a rollup for two. We hit the pinfall reversal sequence until Omega can roll Fox up for the pin at 14:30.

Rating: B. It’s an Elite match so what were you expecting to happen? They did their thing, it was a bunch of flips and signature stuff and then they shrugged off a bunch of moves and won. It’s going to take a minor miracle to get those belts off of them and Top Flight, as good as they can be, aren’t the team to be doing that.

Video on Hook.

Stokely Hathaway is tired of hearing about the Firm having trouble and it’s worried about Hook. Cue Hook, who bends Hathaway’s arm back and leaves. Minus the arm.

Tag Team Titles: Gunns vs. Acclaimed

Acclaimed is defending and there is no Billy Gunn. The Acclaimed clear the ring to start and it’s Scissor Me Timbers to send us to a break. Back with Bowens coming back in to clean house but the referee gets bumped off the Quick Draw. Austin brings in a title belt so here is Billy Gunn to shove Bowens out of the way of a belt shot.

Colten hits Billy with the other belt but the Acclaimed is back up. The Arrival into the Mic Drop hits Austin but there is still no referee. Caster goes for the referee but gets sent into the barricade. Colten breaks up the cover and a belt shot to the head gives the Gunns the pin and the titles at 10:31.

Rating: C. Well, that happened. This is one of those things that is going to be talked about for a good while to come and I’m really not sure I get it. The Gunns are about as middle of the road as you can get and they just took the titles from the hottest act in AEW. Maybe this is designed to get the Acclaimed the belts back at Revolution in a rather forced moment, but for now it feels like punching the golden goose in the beak for the sake of shock and awe.

The Acclaimed are stunned to end the show, even as their music plays.


Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Konosuke Takeshita – Salt of the Earth
Jamie Hayter b. Bunny – Ripcord lariat
Daniel Garcia b. Ricky Starks – Judas Effect
Bryan Danielson b. Rush – Running knee
Elite b. Top Flight/AR Fox – Rollup to Fox
Gunns b. Acclaimed – Belt to the face



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The final score: review Good
The 411
That ending is going to be the main thing talked about and I’m really not sure how well it is going to go over. The Acclaimed are still crazy over and the Gunns...well...did you know they’re Billy’s kids? Other than that, they got around to the Revolution main event we knew was coming and gave MJF a win. Good enough show, but dang that is a risky main event result.

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AEW Dynamite, Thomas Hall