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Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

“The Booze Cruise”- AEW Dynamite Recap and Review

Hello AW Universe,

The January 22nd episode of AEW Wednesday Night Dynamite wasn’t just your regular old Wednesday night program. Oh no, my friends. This one was from The Bahamas! Why? Well, because of course because it was Chris Jericho’s Rock n’ Wrestling Rager at Sea, Part Deux: Second Wave!

Here are results and reactions from the night.

Fast Count Results

Kenny Omega & “Hangman” Adam Page d. SCU for the AEW World Tag Team Championship

Britt Baker d. Priscilla Kelly 

Chris Jericho & Santana & Ortiz d. Jurassic Express

MJF d. Joey Janela

Jon Moxley d. Pac in a AEW World Championship #1 Contender’s Match


Rundown

JR makes a reference to the Maple Leaf Gardens as he’s describing the ringside setup, which is nice to here for this Canadian blogger (even though the Leafs are trash and anyone who cheers for them has no taste).

AEW World Tag Team Championship

Kenny Omega & “Hangman” Adam Page vs. SoCal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)

The pace of this match is great. As opposed to their stable mates, this half of The Elite in Page and Omega wrestle at a rate that shares the match with a better build, not relying on a spotfest to kept the match engaging.

Omega once again showcases that he’s on another level from every other wrestler on the AEW roster with a string of incredible beginning with knife-edge chops and a Hurricanrana on Scorpio Sky, then a snap dragon suplex on Kazarian, before turning once more to Sky and hitting him with a beautiful Fisherman Buster, then setting him up for a Standing Shooting Star Press from Hangman then hitting him with his own second rope Moonsault. Sky kicks out, but then Omega hits him with a bucklebomb and Spinbuster for another kick-out.

JR calls to the commercial break but promises that “we’ll stay with it,” but the broadcast cuts to a regular break. When the show comes back, Excalibur exclaims that, as we all must’ve seen in the picture-in-picture during the break– we didn’t– that Frankie Kazarian hit a cutter that “changed the complexion of this match.” I really don’t know what I’m gonna do having missed that industry-shaking manoeuvre.

It doesn’t matter at all, because after some shifts of momentum, and in a bit of a shocking finish, Omega & Page win the titles after a wicked Buckshot Lariat to Kazarian. This is the first title change in AEW, and it happened on a docked boat in The Bahamas in a wind storm. These are by far the two best wrestlers in the company, so I’ll take this win either way.

Wait. I thought The Dark Order hd these two at the top of their list as their newest recruits..?

Priscilla Kelly vs. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D

So Priscilla Kelly is “Hell’s Favourite Harlot” apparently. She makes this quite clear by sensually licking her fingers a lot doing some… things with a rose in her mouth. Also, did you know Britt Baker is a dentist? A wrestler with a professional job?? Because JR reminds us once more in case we forgot.

Once again, the women’s division is horribly underwhelming. Baker has potential, no doubt, but she’s still green in the ring and they love like their match is on half-speed. JR makes a comment on the clearly weak lariats thrown by Kelly that miss by a mile, which Excalibur covers up by proclaiming that she’s “woozy.” No, she’s just not good. Baker continues her heel turn by pulling Kelly down by her hair as a heel tactic.

Anyway, this match is put out of its misery as Baker wins with her Lockjaw submission.

Tony Schiavone then comes down to the ring to interview her after the match, and Baker makes her heel turn by ragging on him after he calls out her “questionable” tactics to win the match– I’m not really sure what he’s referring to, since she wins with a thrust kick, then a side Russian leg-sweep, and her submission. She remarks that he “was just a shitty barista” at Starbucks before joining AEW– to which he clearly mouthes “what the fuck?” to, which was absolutely hilarious– and then proclaims that she’s smart, educated, brilliant “and the hottest girl on this boat.” She then begins to tear into Schiavone some more but JR weirdly interrupts and rushes to break, hastily saying “we’re gonna get out of this.”

Honestly, I probably sound like a bit of a mark here, but this seemed like a shoot. The cut to the commercial break was abrupt, JR sounded annoyed, and they made no reference to it when they came back to the show. Very weird.

The Jurassic Express (Jungleboy, Luchasaurus, & Marko Stunt) vs. Chris Jericho & Santana & Ortiz

I guess Santana & Ortiz are no longer billed as Proud and Powerful? And The Inner Circle doesn’t have stable music? It’s alright in this case, because the whole crowd sings “Judas” as Jericho makes his way to the ring. It took me a second to remember that this whole crowd is there for a Fozzy concert cruise. What a world.

Anyway, this match is whatever. Once again, Jack Perry wrestled the AEW Champion to a 10-minute draw for… what again? He barely does anything in this match, and doesn’t factor into the finish. If anything, this match sets up an angle between Luchasauraus and Jake Hagar as they brawl on the outside as Jericho wins the match with a Judas Effect on Marko Stunt.

MJF vs. “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela

Oh no, Joey Janela comes to the ring with dreads… Christ. Anyway, this match is also average. MJF pulls some heel tactics by using referee Aubrey Edwards as a shield and kicking Janela in the nuts. But this match just works as a vehicle to fuel the feud Janela has with Kip Sabian, as the latter comes to the top of the ramp with Penelope Ford to distract Janela as they makeout, and MJF picks up the win.

MJF then calls out Cody, who comes to the ring but, because of the stipulations that he accepted in order to wrestle MJF at Revolution, he can’t touch him. So MJF gets in his face, trying to provoke him by mocking his lisp, before leaving the ring. This just sets up for The Young Bucks to sneak up behind him and Superkicking him and throwing him in a pool to “humiliate him.” Isn’t this supposed to be an intense blood feud, with lashes and a steel cage? I didn’t think it could get more brutal, but it did! A pool? Are you serious?? Damn…

Adam Page disses the Young Bucks

Tony Schiavone interviews the new Tag Champions, when Nick & Matt Jackson join them to celebrate, prompting Omega to exclaim how they’ve been there as support this whole time and that they’re actually the best tag team, which clearly annoys Page. And in a move that makes me appreciate Hangman even more somehow, he not only talks mad shit to The Young Bucks by condescendingly saying that he’s, “surprised that they hadn’t won [the tag titles] first,” but is polishing off a glass of whisky as he does it. I also failed to mention that his chyron before the tag match read, “was hoping this would be a booze cruise.” Hangman Page is my spirit animal.

AEW World Championship #1 Contender’s Match

Jon Moxley vs. Pac 

Chris Jericho guest comments this match, which is fine. The match itself immediately starts out pretty stiff, with Moxley chopping the hell out of Pac’s chest.

Remember that Moxley had his left eye stabbed last week by Jericho, and it plays a factor into the in-match storytelling, as it throws Moxley’s depth perception off having him stumble and wobble around inside and outside of the ring. Remember when Moxley, as Dean Ambrose in WWE was so upset with his character because they were making him ridiculous? Wow, AEW really has done so much for him and his creative freedom… I mean, he gets to come through the crowd now and say “shit.”

This cruise crowd is hot, but clearly wasted, which is probably a blast to be a part of, but makes them sound just as sloppy as they undoubtedly are. They try to get a “this is awesome” chant going, but you can here the margarita slurs through the telecast. They do get a “our boat’s better” and “your boat sucks” to other cruise ships that pull in next to theirs; there’s also a guy dressed as Jesus in the crowd so a “Thank you, Jesus,” chant starts. Boy, they’re clearly engaged in the intense wrestling going on in the ring. WWE crowds get shit a lot for hijacking the shows, and this was one of the worst examples of it.

Honestly, this match isn’t near as good as it could’ve been, partly because of the crowd, but mostly because of Moxley eye gimmick what was clearly going to be the finish. They don’t do anything breath-taking or unique. Moxley wins with an uninspiring finish, first surviving Pac’s submission move, The Brutalizer, then hitting a random DDT as he stumbles around and then a Paradigm Shift after some more stumbling on a not-that-worn-down Pac.

Some credit has to be given to AEW for trying something different for putting an entire live show in such a unique venue, but it was mostly a bust and I can’t see them doing it again without it becoming a useless gimmick. Next week’s Dynamite is in the more traditional wrestling market of Cleveland, Ohio, which should be a nice correction.