AEW Dynamite Highlights (2/19/20) – Cody vs. Wardlow in a Steel Cage

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All Photos Courtesy Of AEW

The trials of Cody continue on this episode of AEW Dynamite, live from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia! Following a set of ten lashes by MJF two weeks ago, Cody now faces a great challenge in the form of Wardlow. In this show’s main event, he squares off against MJF’s “muscle” in the first-ever steel cage match in AEW. Win or lose, The American Nightmare will do what it takes to get his hands on his former friend, MJF. This, and more, will be covered in the AEW Dynamite Highlights!

AEW Dynamite
Photo / All Elite Wrestling

Dynamite Notes:

AEW Dynamite opens with a tag team battle royal to determine the number one contenders for the AEW World Tag Team Championship. During the match, Dark Order interrupt to tease to SCU that “the exalted one” draws near. This allows Alex Reynolds and John Silver to eliminate SCU. Dark Order even offers CIMA a mask following his elimination. Jurassic Express are eliminated with the help of Sammy Guevara on the outside. Orange Cassidy helps prevent Trent‘s elimination, but ultimately, Trent is ejected as Cassidy receives a knee to the crotch by The Bunny. Last eliminating Ortiz and Santana, Matt Jackson wins the match for The Young Bucks.

Kris Statlander defeats Shanna in singles action, Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. on commentary. Shanna puts up a hell of a fight in this opening contest, getting numerous near-falls. Ultimately, Shanna is put away by Statlander’s Big Bang Theory. Though AEW has a way to go when it comes to featuring female talent prominently, matches of this caliber are worth checking out.

Tony Schiavone interviews the new AEW Women’s World Champion Nyla Rose. She says that she’s hungry, and when that happens, she breaks bitches, evidenced by her win over Riho. Rose she represents power as the “queen bee” of a hive of buzzing bees. Rose promises to be a one-time champion, as no one will beat her. Statlander approaches Rose and boops the title on her shoulder. Big Swole comes out next to confront Rose. Several officials separate the three wrestlers.

Jon Moxley vs. Jeff Cobb

Just as Jon Moxley thought he had the upper hand on The Inner Circle, the game changes. AEW World Champion Chris Jericho, looking for any way to pick apart Moxley prior to Revolution, has enlisted the help of a new, powerful ally. Enter Jeff Cobb, who made his debut appearance on last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, flooring Moxley with the Tour of the Islands. Will Moxley be met with this devastating move a second time in this clash?

Cobb starts the match with explosive power early on, including big belly-to-back suplexes. Despite valiant efforts by Moxley to fight back, the powerful Cobb cuts him off several times. All the while, The Inner Circle cheers for him from the front row. Moxley regains control, focusing on the leg of Cobb by slamming it against the ring post. This focus continues when Moxley attempts a heel hook. On the outside, Cobb matches an airborne Moxley and tosses him with an overhead suplex. Back in the ring, Moxley fights back, clotheslining Cobb with authority. Cobb hits a deadlift superplex, but Moxley is able to roll through with a surprise pinfall victory!

Post-match, Moxley is jumped by The Inner Circle. Dustin Rhodes hits the ring to help Moxley but becomes overwhelmed as well. The lights go out and a returning Darby Allin appears! Allin lays out everyone with his skateboard, Moxley hitting a Paradigm Shift on Cobb. He then dukes it out with Jericho, who quickly retreats. Between the strong match between Moxley and Cobb and the return of Allin following an attack by The Inner Circle, this was a solid segment across the board. Allin provides an additional edge to this angle that’s very much welcome.

Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. The Lucha Bros.

To say that Hangman Page and Kenny Omega make a unique team would be an understatement. Though both were known for their affiliation with The Elite, Omega more so than Page, the latter has been surprisingly distant from his comrades. Nonetheless, he has been able to work well with Omega, leading to their recent AEW World Tag Team Championship win. Their reign continues as they face one of their greatest challenges yet: Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix, The Lucha Bros.

This match begins with a quick exchange between Page and Fenix. Omega keeps Fenix on the defensive with a backbreaker before Page hits his opponent with a bridging fallaway slam. The champions are dominant in the early going until Fenix finally tags Pentagon. The Lucha Bros. remain dominant, hitting an assisted monkey flip in the corner on Omega. Though Omega was overtaken by Pentagon, he’s able to tag Page, an aggressive flurry of offense following.

Miscommunication between the champions arises as Omega inadvertently leads Page into an attack by Fenix.

This match wasn’t without its high-flying moments, with Fenix and Page taking to the skies. Miscommunication continues as Page hits Omega with a Buckshot Lariat on accident. Despite this, a Pentagon Driver isn’t enough to put Omega away for a three-count. The Best Bout Machine recovers, attempting a One-Winged Angel on Fenix. A V-Trigger/Buckshot Lariat combination on Fenix allows the champions to retain their straps. After the match, The Young Bucks come to the ring to show sportsmanship. Nonetheless, tension exists between these teams as we move closer to AEW Revolution.

It’s not controversial to say that AEW has some of the best – if not the absolute best – tag team wrestling in the game today. Page and Omega had a strong match with The Lucha Bros., but the storytelling is just as strong as ever. It’s clear that the champions, as talented as they are, struggle to remain on the same page. Ergo, it’s safe to say that this will play into their future match against The Young Bucks. Perhaps we will see the titles change hands sooner than later.

The First-Ever AEW Steel Cage Match

It can be argued that a steel cage match serves to put the exclamation point on a rivalry. In this situation, however, it is designed as another obstacle for the valiant Cody. Though Wardlow has yet to have a match, up until this point, he has proven himself as the capable muscle of MJF. Whenever the sniveling Long Island native found his back against the wall, his “heavy” would come in to change the playing field. In this match, however, the spotlight is on Wardlow.

In this AEW Dynamite steel cage match, where victory only occurs via pinfall or submission, Wardlow exercises his power early on. As Wardlow attacks, sending Cody against the unforgiving steel, MJF taunts his former friend from the other side of the cage. Meanwhile, Brandi Rhodes and Arn Anderson are in the corner of Cody to support him. Wardlow’s attacks become so brutal that Cody is busted open, The American Nightmare quickly donning the crimson mask. Nonetheless, Cody remains steadfast in his brutal affair. As the blood continues to leave Cody’s being, Wardlow maintains control, airplane spinning him into the air.

Wardlow slams Cody through the door, leading to a confrontation between MJF and Anderson.

With MJF taunting Anderson to attack Cody, the former Horseman slams the cage door into MJF’s face instead! Meanwhile, Cody starts to regain momentum against his powerful opponent. Wardlow fights back with an impressive top rope senton for a two-count. MJF passes his Dynamite Diamond to Wardlow, who Cody hits with a low blow. Cody dons the Dynamite Diamond while Brandi and Anderson dispose of MJF. The American Nightmare blasts Wardlow in the face with the Dynamite Diamond and hits the Cross Rhodes for a near-fall! Cody ascends to the top of the cage and hits a big moonsault on Wardlow! This proves enough for Cody to get the win.

First, AEW’s steel cage is an impressive structure. It looks less like a wrestling cage and more like a prison cell, heightening its sense of danger. Regarding the match itself, it was an example of storytelling in wrestling not requiring a litany of techniques. With Cody as the undeniable hero against the seemingly immovable Wardlow, the lines were drawn early on. Though Wardlow lost his first match, he was only put away by a shot to the face with a ring, a finishing move, and a flying maneuver off the top of a tall cage. Win or lose, Wardlow looked like a beast on this week’s AEW Dynamite.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite every Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Pacific on TNT and internationally on AEW Plus on Fite TV.

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