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AEW Dynamite - Beach Break: January 26, 2021
by Doc Allen
Live from the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur. There's no place for a beach party like Ohio in January.
Undisputed TNT Championship (Ladder Match):
Cody Rhodes © (with Arn Anderson) vs. Interim Champion Sammy Guevara
Handshake to start. They lock up, Guevara leap frogs for a dropkick. Fans chant "Sammy!" They tease finishers and trade shoves. Sammy goes for a ladder, Cody coldcocks his jaw. Cody bridges a ladder but Sammy ambushes with a pump kick. They brawl through the crowd, Cody hits a clothesline over the rails. Sammy surprises with a springboard cutter off the barricade, which may have been botched but the camera angle protected them. Sammy brings a tall ladder into the ring and knocks Cody from the apron. They battle for control until Cody nails a delayed vertical suplex off the top! Back from commercials, Cody slams Sammy onto an upside ladder for a hideous bump onto the supports. Cody applies a Figure Four through the rungs! Sammy gets sick of the abuse and fires back with rapid clotheslines. Enziguri by Sammy, but Cody launches a ladder into his face. Cody goes for the titles, but Sammy springboards off another ladder for a huge cutter! He hit that perfectly! Dan Lambert and Scorpio Sky are spotted trying not to look impressed. Sammy places the ladder over Cody and climbs, but Cody tips it over for another nasty fall. Cody then hits a Cross Rhodes from two ladders! Sammy is a glutton for punishment. They both reach the top and hang for a few seconds before tumbling. Cody decides to smash Sammy's knee in a ladder at ringside, luring Fuego Del Sol out to reason with him. Tiger Driver ‘98 for Del Sol, but Sammy backdrops him out for a plancha. GTH on the floor! Sammy sets Cody on the bridged ladder and climbs up a massive ladder for something scary. Sammy poses and hits a Swanton Bomb onto Cody on the ladder! They meet under the titles again, Sammy knocks Cody down and retrieves the titles at 23:02! Wow, they put Sammy over big time here. This was a HELL of a fight that tried to be a match with ladders rather than a "ladder match." Hope that makes sense to you, ****½.
Winner and undisputed TNT Champion: Sammy Guevara
Tony Shiavone interviews Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs outdoors at an icy beach. Tony is shivering, Team Taz tells him to man up. Hobbs wants another match with Dante Martin. Starks accepts Jay Lethal's challenge for the Chicago Dynamite. Tony thinks the microphone has frozen to his hand.
Wardlow (with Shawn Spears) vs. Elijah Dean and James Alexander
Nice hometown pop for Wardlow, who I used to honestly think was British (for some reason). Wardlow just mauls the jobbers and dishes out powerbombs. Wardlow powerbombs the jobbers into a pile and gets the easy win at 1:23. Another effective squash for Mr. Wardlow.
The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz) vs. 2point0 (Jeff Parker and Matt Lee) and Daniel Garcia
Jericho is ready to start against Lee, but Santana tags himself in. Parker makes a blind tag but gets overwhelmed by Santana. Santana and Ortiz hit a tandem version of the 3 Amigos. 2point0 manage to haul Ortiz to their corner and feed him to Garcia. Ortiz clotheslines Garcia, Santana helps with a double flapjack and combination dropkicks. Jericho tags himself when he realizes that Santana and Ortiz seem determined to leave him out, and their bickering lets 2point0 take control. Back from commercials, Ortiz is the face in peril. Ortiz fights off a triple team attempt and deliberately tags in Santana, not Jericho. Santana runs wild, hitting 2point0 with a double cutter. Jericho teases walking out on the match, but still helps out with a blind Judas Effect to Matt Lee, allowing Santana to finish with a Piledriver at 8:54. Average match, dragged down by the CAN THEY GET ALONG trope, **¼.
Winners: Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz
Video promo for Lance Archer vs. Hangman Page. They'll meet for the AEW title in 2 weeks in a Texas Death Match, which seems to have Hangman somewhat spooked.
Tony Shiavone hosts a brief confrontation between Christian Cage and Jurassic Express against Matt Hardy and Private Party on the staircase. They'll have a match on Rampage. What about the Gunn Club?
CM Punk comes to the ring to talk, but he's dressed to fight, and gets the fans to call out MJF on his behalf. Punk removes his hoodie to reveal that he's wearing MJF's stole scarf, which he kept as a nice souvenir. Punk thought the scarf meant something to MJF, but Google helped him learn that they're sold in 12 packs on Amazon, so they are as cheap as MJF's personality. Also, they are made in Long Island, which means they're basically garbage. Punk has actually learned that calling out MJF doesn't get him anywhere, he'll just come out in a cheap suit with excuses for why he won't fight. MJF has heard enough, Punk orders the crew to cut his crappy music. MJF thinks the people of Cleveland are pretty dumb for thinking he'd change into his gear and wrestle an impromptu match in their disgusting cesspool of a city. MJF finally agrees to face Punk next week in Chicago. MJF promises to expose Punk for what he really is, and that's someone who will leave wrestling as soon as he stops getting what he wants. He reminds us that Punk no-showed an event in Cleveland in 2014. Punk will turn his backs on everyone again and cry about it on a podcast. Punk replies that coming back to wrestling was the best thing he ever did, he never lied to the fans, and he gets back up everytime. MJF has heard enough and unleashes the Pinnacle onto Punk for a beatdown. FTR hold Punk down for Spears' chairshot to the spine. Punk goes after MJF's scarf but gets knocked down again. MJF orders Wardlow to powerbomb Punk onto a chair, which he does, albeit somewhat reluctantly. MJF takes a seat on Punk's chest and will see him in Chicago.
The Acclaimed talk to the camera about their grievances with Jon Moxley. Anthony Bowens will beat Moxley's ass on Rampage. That should be good.
Tony Shiavone interviews Griff Garrison and Julia Hart backstage, but they're interrupted by Smart Mark Sterling, who lets Julia know that she's Jade Cargill's personally chosen TBS Championship challenger, but she's got to sign some kind of waiver. That was a run-on sentence. Griff tries to stop Julia from signing without reading first, but Julia won't listen.
Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet
Velvet charges in, but Leyla blocks her leg lariat. Velvet tries again and hits the lariat. Leyla knocks Velvet against the ring frame and barricade. Velvet hits a clothesline and then an ax kick in the ropes, followed by a splitting stunner. Leyla counters a triangle sleeper with a powerbomb into the buckles. Leyla begins attacking the shoulder to send us to break. Back from commercials, Velvet hits a desperate leaping stunner. Velvet's drop toe hold sets up running knees to the back. Velvet blocks a German and hits a spear for only 2. Leyla reverses the Final Slice into a powerbomb, and decides to win with the Legit Lock, but Velvet gets the ropes. The fans are ready for this to end. Leyla blocks another kick and pulls the tights to roll Velvet up at 8:07. The action itself was perfectly fine, but they never had the crowd with them, *½.
Winner: Leyla Hirsch
Kris Statlander runs in to stop Leyla from beating down Velvet.
Spooooooky House of Black video promo. Malakai Black knows the AEW audience wants violence and conflict, and what better way to give them what they want than the human embodiment, Brody King. They are going to humble Pac and Death Triangle, and they'll thank them when it's over.
TNT Champion Sammy Guevara and Fuego Del Sol come back to entertain us with cue cards during the commercials.
Tony Shiavone hosts AEW Women's Champion Dr. Britt Baker in the ring. They're here to celebrate Britt's recent awards from Pro Wrestling Illustrated. She says it's criminal that she hasn't had mic time in far too long, especially since CM Punk and MJF can't keep her name out of their mouths. She lived up to her promise of making 2021 the year of D.M.D. Britt can't help but make fun of Cleveland's football team. The AEW Women's Division used to be a wasteland but she's turned it into a "Brittopia" by taking over. She plans on becoming Female Wrestler of the Decade, so Cleveland can finally have a Baker to be proud of. The promo remarkably ends without interruption.
Nyla Rose (with Vickie Guerrero) comes to the stage to complain about Rose not being TBS Champion. Nyla blames Ruby Soho and wants her in the ring.
Lights Out Match:
Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy
Cassidy crumples his shades, so you know he means business. They waste no time exchanging punches. They head outside, OC hits a shotgun dropkick against the barricade. Cole answers with an Irish whip and backbreaker onto the rails. Cole struggles to pull out a chair, but it's attached to DANHAUSEN! Cole is so distracted, he misses his chairshot, and Cassidy hits a tornado DDT onto the floor. Cole recovers with a pump kick and bonks Cassidy against the ring post. Cassidy blocks Panama Sunrise and hits a slam through the timekeeper's table. Cole blocks the Orange Punch with the ring bell and sends Cassidy into the steps. Cole takes firm control by smashing OC's fingers against the steel. Back from commercials, Cole hits a neckbreaker onto his knee. Cole tries a brainbuster through chairs, instead Cassidy hits Stun Dog Millionaire and then a Falcon Arrow through the chairs. Cole desperately hits a superkick to buy time and then waves in Brandon Cutler. Wheeler Yuta takes down Cutler, which lures out Bobby Fish, Chuck Taylor, and The Young Bucks to run interference. Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero stop the Bucks from hitting OC with superkicks, and Cassidy hits Cole with a Beach Break for 2. Cassidy hits the Orange Punch with his injured hand and sells agony. Low blow by Cole, but Cassidy reveals he was wearing a steel cup. Cassidy feels confident enough for some sloth kicks and steals Panama Sunrise, but Cole kicks out! "This is awesome" chant. Cassidy wraps a chain around his fist, but Cole slips out. They head backstage, Cole puts Cassidy through Tony Khan's production table. Back to the stage, Cassidy hits a superkick, but Cole answers by smashing a light fixture into Cassidy's ribs. Cole climbs up the tunnel but doesn't know that Cassidy followed him up and takes a low blow. Cassidy traps Cole in a sarcastic hug and drives him through the stage! Cassidy landed on top of Cole and gets the pinfall at 16:56! Really fun grudge match that showcased Cassidy's intelligence and creativity. Cole also got his comeuppance without taking a loss on his official record. Great stuff, ****.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Final Thoughts: Two great matches bookend a strong episode of Dynamite. I'm impressed that Sammy Guevara and Orange Cassidy were both allowed to get big time victories that should elevate their starpower. Don't miss this one.
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