AEW Dynamite Grades and Reactions for February 14, 2024

AEW Dynamite continued its build toward AEW Revolution set for March 3
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Adam Copeland.png /

Jon Moxley Vs. Dax Hardwood

Moxley and Hardwood made for an explosive kickoff match. After a confrontation on last Saturday’s Collision, Hardwood looked to represent FTR in rare singles action. FTR and the BCC have both been dominant teams in AEW, but have both been on the back burner a bit. The audience was split right down the middle, as both “Let's go Moxley” chants and “FTR” chants could be heard simultaneously. 

The two went for a decent length, getting the crowd ramped up for a long night. Additionally, neither man was afraid to show love, passionately kissing each other on the lips toward the beginning of the match to show some Valentine's Day spirit. Throughout the match, Moxley had most of the control. Harwood was able to keep up with Moxley and go at the same pace, an impressive sight considering Hardwood isn’t used to singles action. A particular spot that looked concerning was Hardwood’s attempt to suplex Mox over the top rope. Both men fell over the top rope and it did not look easy on the neck of either man. 

Ultimately, Moxley countered Hardwood’s jump off the top rope into a sleeper hold. The bell rang as Hardwood passed out and Moxley would not release. As Cash Wheeler ran to the ring to aid his partner, Claudio Castagnoli came to the aid of Moxley and helped him wipe out FTR. This was an action-packed match that once again saw the Blackpool Combat Club on top. 

Grade: B+

Wardlow Vs. Barrett Brown

To make Wardlow look strong, he faced Barrett Brown. Brown was not given an entrance as he doesn’t appear to be on the roster. He was most likely Indie talent to help showcase Wardlow. Again, Adam Cole joined the commentary table, but barely said a word as Wardlow made quick work of Brown. This now puts Wardlow at nine consecutive victories. Since joining the Undisputed Kingdom with Cole, Wardlow has been getting more spotlight for the first time in quite a while. 

While he didn’t have much of a performance, he did what he was supposed to do, he got the victory and looked unstoppable while doing it. Although it was good for Wardlow, a squatch match usually isn’t very entertaining and barely lasts three minutes. They definitely could have given Wardlow a worthy opponent to face rather than a no-name from the nearest Independent VFW show. 

Grade: D+

Adam Copeland Vs. Daniel Garcia (Winner faces Christian Cage for TNT Championship)

Ever since the controversial finish to their match at World’s End, Adam Copland has been scratching tooth and nail for another shot at Christian Cage’s TNT Championship. He finally was given another opportunity, but first, he’d have to overcome Daniel Garcia. Similar to the kickoff match, the crowd was split on who they supported. Copeland expectedly had people rallying behind him, but Daniel Garcia was being cheered for as heavily as well. 

Understandably, people want Garcia to get a title shot over Copeland. After all, Copeland is a lot older and Garcia is just starting his career. However, It’s pretty evident that the Copeland Vs. Cage's feud is continuing, as Cage wouldn’t let the match end fairly. He, Killswitch, Nick Wayne, and Mother Wayne all attacked Copeland, causing the match to end in DQ. Christian ultimately once again attacks Copeland with a chair to the neck.  The finish was quite predictable, but Copeland Vs. Cage III is appearing more exciting by the week.

Grade: B

Samoa Joe, Adam Page and Swerve Strickland meet face-to-face-to-face

AEW World Champion Samoa Joe was the first to enter the ring. Joe complained about his upcoming three-way match at Revolution for his title. He claims that both men are pretenders. He promises both men will limp out of the Revolution. This draws Strickland to the ring. Strickland tells Joe that he’s one of the biggest up-and-coming stars in all of AEW. He claims that it’ll be him walking away with the Title at Revolution and of course, this is where Adam Page finally comes out.

Page makes the issue personal against Strickland, saying Strickland shouldn’t be in this match at all after failing to beat Page in a Number one contenders match. Strickland and Page square up again and get in each other’s faces. This rivalry has been almost neverending, with the two constantly battling it in the ring. However, this time wouldn’t end in a fight between the two. This was because Joe got between the two and got the last laugh, telling them that come to Revolution, he’s “Whooping both yo asses.” 

Joe then drops the mic and leaves, getting the final say. Overall, this was a great build to their three-man title match on March 3rd. While Joe just won the championship, it wouldn’t surprise many if he left Revolution without the title. It’s an unpredictable match and that’s the most that pro wrestling fans can ask for.

Grade: B+

Young Bucks Vs. Top Flight

Nicholas and Matthew Jackson have entered a new era in their careers. The duo took on Top Flight to further prove that they are the best team in AEW, along with being EVPs. The two have abused their power and have been using it to bend the entire AEW roster to their will. Top Flight was very impressive but didn’t attract attention the way the Young Bucks did. Matt and Nick finished off Top Flight. After the finish, the two victors were then interviewed by Tony Schiavone. The Bucks gave Tony quite a hard time over his comments about them he had made on commentary. He was then fined one thousand dollars and then pushed him to the ground. 

Darby Allan then retaliated by chasing Matthew and Nicholas out of the ring with Sting’s bat. He then confronted them and spoke of AEW’s original mission and how the Bucks had killed it. The match then becomes official; Sting and Darby Allin will defend the AEW tag team championships against the Young Bucks at Revolution. While Top Flight was rather forgettable in this match, the match did its job by furthering interest in The Young Bucks' championship match at Revolution in what will be the last match of Sting's career.

Willow Nightingale Vs. Sky Blue

This was a quick match that didn’t have any implications. Regardless, there was some crowd love for Willow Nightingale. While she hasn’t been seen on Dynamite in quite some time, she received a warm welcome back. The match had decent action, but nothing captivating or thrilling in particular. Nightingale gets the win off of a powerbomb to Blue.

Grade: C

Orange Cassidy Vs. Matt Taven (Texas Death Match)

After the Undisputed Kingdom wreaked havoc for weeks, Orange Cassidy faces Taven to hopefully get even with the faction. Unlike normal matches, this match only ends when you incapacitate (or submit) your opponent for 10 seconds. This match was insane and surely the match of the night. There were several impressive spots, including the use of thumbtacks (there is no “faking” thumbtacks.) Both men were busted open and could be stumbling in the ring towards the end of the match Soon enough, people from both parties started to interfere.

 As a last-ditch effort, Roderick Strong attempted to take out Cassidy and gain a win for his faction. Not to mention, Strong wants Cassidy in the weakest condition for Revolution. Unfortunately for Cassidy, that didn’t work out so well. Cassidy stood his ground, allowing for the official to count Taven out of the match. Cassidy wins the match with the help of Chuck Taylor. This was an amazing finish to the show and kept so many excited for Revolution on March 3rd.

Grade: A