The road to Revolution is finally in full force as AEW set up multiple high profile matches on this week’s edition of Dynamite. Tonight’s episode was mostly excellent, and it included the announcement of a Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch for the AEW World Championship between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley.
Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley: Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch
EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATHMATCH! pic.twitter.com/V3rMsCEPMs
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) February 18, 2021
In a decision that will surely polarize fans and add loads of intrigue to Revolution, Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship in an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch. The idea has to be that they started with a brutal, bloody unsanctioned match, they gave people the standard match on TV, so this is the only way Moxley and Omega can elevate the stakes.
For the uninformed, this match stipulation is a creation of Atsushi Onita, founder of Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW). In this kind of match, ring ropes are replaced with barbed wire, and legitimate explosions go off when a body on contact.
These types of matches don’t happen anymore because they’re extremely dangerous. But if anyone can make it work, it is these two can. I can’t wait!
Sting gets physical for the first time
I’ve long maligned this Sting/Darby Allin/Team Taz storyline for spinning in circles week after week. It seems that AEW got the memo, because Sting got physically involved tonight to a greater extent than he has in five years.
Brian Cage absolutely planted Sting with that powerbomb. This wasn’t some soft bump to protect an old man, this was a full-on power bomb, shoulders-first in the center of the ring. Cage looked like a killer and instead of Allin bumping all over the place, which loses its impact when it happens every single week, the beloved Sting taking a real beating adds so much heat to this big street fight.
Great wrestling from top to bottom
There simply isn’t a more consistent in-ring television product out there than AEW Dynamite. This week featured three legitimate “notebook” matches (Riho vs. Serena Deeb, The Young Bucks vs. Santana & Ortiz, & Moxley, Fénix, & Archer vs. Kingston, Butcher, & Blade).
Riho vs. Deeb was a technical showcase and an emotional return for Riho, who should be winning this Eliminator Tournament. The Young Bucks seemingly can’t have anything other than a very good match, with some great drama in the near falls towards the end. And the six-man tag continued AEW’s unbelievable streak of fantastic main event matches.
At its very core, wrestling shows should be about wrestling. AEW clearly understands that and has the roster to live up to that expectation.
This was a great Dynamite show from top to bottom, so the only things I criticized were little quibbles here and there. These are the things that remind me “Oh, what I’m watching is just professional wrestling, and it shouldn’t be taken seriously.”
It made absolutely no sense for Isiah Kassidy to already be in the mascot suit during the Adam Page-Matt Hardy post-match promo. It made no sense that FTR would get suspended for cutting horns off Luchasaurus’s mask but not for literally kidnapping Marko Stunt. I was left wondering why Darby Allin didn’t come out to save Sting during the beating, and Moxley somehow having a rematch clause in his championship contract felt like a superfluous addition to the story.
None of these things ruined any of the angles or programs, but they do completely rip me out of any sense of disbelief I might have. That’s not the end of the world, but it’s also worth looking at and improving.