HomeTelevisionAEW Dynamite 2/8 Review: A Night of Awesome Fights

AEW Dynamite 2/8 Review: A Night of Awesome Fights

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

First off, we join the wrestling community in wishing a speedy recovery to Jerry “The King” Lawler. A photo was posted on Twitter earlier today, being visited by “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart,  and Lawler appeared to be on good spirits. 

We also regrettably join our wrestling community in mourning the loss of Lanny Poffo, brother of the Macho Man Randy Savage. Poffo competed as “Leaping” Lanny, but was also known for his cunning wit and banter as wrestling and managerial master “The Genius.” 

Next, I apologize for missing coverage of AEW Dynamite last week. No excuses, unfortunately life can catch up to an individual to a point of fatigue and a lack of timing allowed me to even post a late report. 

AEW has been on a major upswing, in this writer’s opinion. I know many out there in internet wrestling land who may disagree. However, since shedding the scars of the “Media Scrum From Hell” it would appear the train is back on the tracks, with a number of exciting developments with each episode. While I may have been critical of the predicability of many matches, it in no way diminishes the quality of the wrestling we get to enjoy. If you want me to be competitive, AEW by far has more minutes of wrestling versus WWE. Some like this, and others prefer the heavy microphone-based entertainment. There was once a time where I did too, but it gradually became one of many reasons I stopped watching on a regular basis. 

AEW has provided something which I have enjoyed from New Japan Pro Wrestling. I enjoy the in-ring storytelling. I don’t mind a promo or two, but I prefer more wrestling.

AEW Dynamite 2/8 opens with an absolutely fantastic bout featuring MJF earning a clean victory over Konosuke Takeshita. I will admit going into this, I didn’t think Konosuke had a chance at all. But it didn’t take long to make me believe he could actually win. After all, it is a non-title match. They certainly allowed Takeshita to showcase both his offensive arsenal and defensive skills. Some great spots throughout the match, but the real jawdropper came when MJF appeared to take a lariat off the top rope and LANDS ON HIS FEET. A lot of near falls and close submission calls as the match progressed, but ultimately MJF forced a tap out through some slick submission maneuvering. 

Great match. I truly hope this build for Konosuke is not short-lived. We’ve seen some wrestling get some quick pushes only to have a fleeting moment, then fade into the back. This happened to a few, but the one who stands out the most is Eddie Kingston. He kicked off 2022 strong but gradually faded from Dynamite by the end of the year. 

Back to Takeshita, I am hopeful he will continue to be featured throughout the year and not forgotten among the large roster. 

I get it, AEW has a large roster and not everyone can be featured, however if you start firing someone up, please follow through and not fade away for no reason. 

MJF put on a stellar in-ring performance. His post-match promos are usually spot-on awesome, but tonight’s confused me to high hell. 

Jamie Hayter defeated The Bunny

Decent match, Hayter made Bunny look like a challenger. It appeared the finish came abruptly following an Exploder, Bunny appeared to take it badly unfortunately. Hayter with a quick lariat to end the match. You could see Bunny being helped to the back, clearly something went wrong. 

Backstage: Saraya and Toni Storm beat up Leva Bates and spray paint “L” on her, signifying another “Loser” in AEW. 

It seems when the women’s division is about to take some steps forward, they fall back a bit. Hayter is a fantastic champion, but realistically, Bunny was never a challenger. There are many other women who could be brought up who could fill the role. Penelope Ford has faced her before, and it was a good match. I’d see it again. 

Ricky Starks lost the Gauntlet Match

He easily made short work of Angelo Parker and Matt Minard, but then had his real match against Daniel Garcia. Not a bad match, however was cut short as “a fan” who knew exactly how to effectively use the Judas Effect and was strangely not stopped by security. Obviously it was Jericho under an Evil Uno mask. Garcia pins him and that’s it. 

I felt this segment fell flat, if Minard is still injured and Parker is not 100%, substitute with two other wrestlers. Starks/Garcia could have been great, but felt off tonight. Perhaps in a non-gimmicked scenario a better match would play out. 

Samoa Joe cuts a pre-taped promo putting over Darby Allin and threatening Wardlow. 

Backstage: Billy Gunn and The Acclaimed agree, “Daddy Ass” should remain behind for tonight’s Tag Team Championship match against The Gunns. 

Bryan Danielson defeated RUSH to become Number One Contender for the AEW World Championship

In a bit of pre-match shenanigans, Jose the Assistant and Preston Vance attempted to barricade Danielson in the trainers room. MJF comes to the ring, demanding referee Aubrey Edwards makes a 10-count, which she does with extreme reluctance. This was well crafted and funny to watch. MJF screams for her to count faster, so she glares at him and goes slower. Her facial expression was gold. Obviously he makes it to the ring and we get one hell of a match. Again, we know Danielson is winning but it took a long, bloody bout to do it. Rush is one hell of a wrestler. Post-match MJF locks in the armbar and even beats up a few security guys along the way. 

The Elite retain the AEW Trios Championships against Top Flight and AR Fox

This one was a jaw dropper. Fast paced, high flying, and non-stop. I felt this was a great blend of wrestling and aerial maneuvering. I love Top Flight, but wow, when AR Fox hits the accelerator, it feels like there is no stopping him. Fox and Omega had a beautiful exchange. Give me a one-on-one match. Lots of over the rope launches, and so many near falls I truly believed the challengers could have won, and apparently referee Rick Knox did too because I am 99.99% sure he made a three count when Fox had Omega rolled up when countering the One-Winged Angel. Hell, that would have been a believable and insanely shocking finish. A few reversals later and Omega gets the pinfall instead. 

This is one of those moments, where although I know it was scripted out, I wonder what would happen if they call an audible on the fly and allow for a surprise title change. Sometimes I feel there are opportunities to do something so completely shocking it would work, and this could have been one of them. Much like having the Acclaimed defeating Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland for the tag titles in their first encounter, but the missed opportunity was made up a few weeks later on Dynamite. 

Special Announcement: Mark Briscoe will be featured on Rampage. While I’m sure this may be an attempt to draw more views on Friday, we all know someone is going to post video (even AEW) on Facebook and Twitter. I’d watch Rampage if it wasn’t on Friday Night. SHOMER SHABBOS!!

AEW Dynamite 2/8 Main Event: The Gunns defeated The Acclaimed to win the AEW World Tag Team Championships

This time the bad guys won, in true villainous fashion. It makes sense and it was the absolute right way to have Austin and Colten Gunn win with underhanded tactics following a ref bump. We even got the tease of whether Daddy Ass would make his turn, and thankfully remained aligned with Bowens and Caster, even though he got clocked in the face with the title belt. The crowd deflated so fast when the Gunns used the belt as a weapon, knocking out Bowens and getting the pinfall. The dejected crowd reaction is the correct reaction. If you hated The Gunns before, you really hate them now.

I enjoyed tonight’s Dynamite, despite some segments which missed the mark. The stellar matches outweighed the lackluster ones, and once again, despite predictable outcomes, there was enough wrestling to enjoy, enough to make even me doubt my predictions. 

AEW Dynamite 2/8 is now streaming on the TBS app and is available on demand.

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