Pops & Botches: AEW Dynamite – 2.17.2021



Good day folks! I bet you thought I ran out of words last week but nope! I have a few thousand more for you this week! Seriously though, why’d y’all let me write so much in my first-ever P&B?!? Speaking of last week, here’s what ya missed on AEW Dynamite! 

  • Darby beat a Bad Boy good
  • Big Shotty and Cody rolled up a win
  • Pac hunked the Hollywood out of little Dolph Ziggler
  • Hardy harangued Hangman so Page duped Damascus
  • MJF and Jericho beat an Acclaimed tag team
  • Sammy is voluntarily out of the Inner Circle
  • Thunder Rosa legitimately lit up Leyla Hirsch
  • The Great Kitchen Brawl of 2021!

We are firmly entrenched on the Road to Revolution. Progression is afoot and the momentum is still heading forward. So now that my carpal tunnel is fully healed, let’s get to this week’s action!

POP: Big Money Matt-ch

We start the week the way God intended – in the middle of the squared circle. The super solid team of Hangman Adam Page and Matt Hardy take on Angelico and Jungle Boy Jack Evans – TH2, formerly known as The Hybrid 2. Does anyone know what happened to The Hybrid 1?  I bet I would’ve been a big fan.

This was a solid match from top to bottom. It went back and forth early. TH2 looked like they belong, which I think is a very underrated aspect for jobbers in any company. Hangman got the hot tag and took it to Jack and Angie. The match was hurt just a little by two small botches late in the match. On the first, Hangman caught Evans off the top rope into a powerbomb on top of Angelico but they were just a smidge too far and only Evans’ head landed on Angelico. The other one led to the finish after Matt tagged himself in after demolishing TH2. Jack Evans went for a Phoenix Splash off the middle rope and he just about missed Matt completely. The announce team did a great job of covering up the miss but it was definitely noticeable. Hangman buckshot himself into the ring and gave both members of TH2 a Lariat for their troubles to get the 1-2-3.

After the match, Matt broke it to Page that he signed the contract and would make Big Money Matt big money since the contract gave Matt 30%. Hangman let Matt know he should’ve read the contract instead of sending it right to the lawyer. Jaguars legend, Jaxson de Ville made his triumphant return and brought the contract out for Matt, which actually states there will be a match at Revolution between Page and Hardy. Not only that but if Hangman wins, he gets all of Matt’s 2021 1st Quarter earnings!  Matt, being the Big Money man he is, challenges Hangman to put his 1st Quarter earnings on the line in a big Money match. They shake on it and Matt tells Hangman he is finished.

In a surprise swerve, Jaxson de Ville jumps Page from behind! He absolutely loses his head only to be revealed as Isiah Kassidy! Matt gives a generous, and VERY specific $3700 offer to TH2 for them to beat up Page. It’s a 4-on-1 beatdown until little John Silver and Alex Reynolds come out to help Hangman. In his triumphant return to Dynamite, -1 runs out and calls for more reinforcements and the entire Dark Order makes the save.  Shoutout to Colt Cabana for beating the hell out of Angelico with Jaxson De Ville’s shoe. Hangman and the Dark Order have a brief flirtatious face-off before the faction leaves Page alone to celebrate in the ring.

Until the two botches at the end, I really enjoyed the match. As I said before, the botches took me out of it just a little bit but not enough to not be entertained. It was nice to see a long-term storyline pay off afterwards when Matt and Hangman both played their cards. This match is going to be fun at Revolution. The return of -1 always gives a +1 to any segment. I just love that freakin’ kid, man.

Ratings – 1 ½ SRPs for the match
2 ½ SRPs for the post-match shenanigans

POP: Very Proud, Very Powerful

Alex Marvez is in the back with the Inner Circle. Ortiz cuts a scathing promo about this somehow being their first title shot since the advent of AEW. Meanwhile, Santana is staring absolute DAGGERS through Marvez’ skull. Naturally, MJF brings up the elephant in the room.  After reading last week’s Pops and Botches, MJF rightly points out that he didn’t need to record on his phone because Sammy had brought a cameraman into the room with them! Thanks for reading, Max.  Share it with your friends! Jericho cuts off MJF and tells him to shut up.  But he didn’t tell him to pleeeeeease shut the hell UP! That’s no good, Chris.  Be better. Just be better.

MJF and Jericho took away from Proud and Powerful’s upcoming match but the best part of this segment was definitely Santana and Hager in the background. A+ for them!

Rating – 1 SRP

After a quick recap of the Japan portion of the women’s Eliminator tournament, we come back to a stateside match!

POP: Riho Rihturns!

The sheer joy on Riho’s face and the respect from Serena when the crowd starts chanting “Welcome Back” is just so heartwarming. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Riho during her first run. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even miss her over the last 11 months. However, this match was a very strong outing between two great competitors. Deeb and Riho both wrestled like they wanted to win.  It was a bad night for left knees though, as Deeb came in braced up on hers but then she continually went after Riho’s. After the pinfall, both women were holding their left knees on the mat.  Hopefully, that doesn’t come into play next round!

One of my favorite parts of the match was JR calling out Riho’s 619 and Excalibur immediately correcting him and calling it the Area Code Shot.  Fantastic. Riho hit a vicious 98 pound Coup de Grace with Deeb’s rock solid abs absolutely taking the brunt of the maneuver. Riho pulls it out after a series of false finishes and attempted finishers. Very impressive return for the petite former champion.

I wasn’t looking forward to this match too much due my Orange Cassidyesque attitude toward Riho. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!  This match rocked and I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong about Riho. Assuming she keeps up that urgency going forward of course. She is an absolute draw. Can’t wait to see her tear down Thunder Rosa!

Ratings – 3 ½ SRPs 

BOTCH: Winning four rings is not In-Ring Experience

We cut to the gym(nasium) to see how Jade Cargill and some guy named Shaquille O’Neal are training for their big tag match on March 3rd against Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet. How, may you ask? By playing basketball of course. Wait, I have questions. Is this tag match just going to be a two-on-two game to 21? Were we all duped into thinking it was going to be a wrestling match? How’s Cody’s post game? Cargill can hit shots but can she play defense on Red Velvet who’s obviously smooth? How many takes did it take Shaq to drill that three from the top? The world may never know.

Although I love seeing me some Shaq, this didn’t do much to get my hype for the match. In all fairness I’m already pretty hype for it but I needed to see Shaq taking bumps or throwing out shooting star presses or something.

Rating – ½ SRP

BOTCH: Whatever

Luther and Orange Cassidy BOTH get the jobber entrance as they’re in the ring when we return from commercial. Luther smartly knocks Chuck off the apron while retrieving OC’s jacket (Butlers gonna butler). Serpentico randomly runs in and hits the Tope Suicida on Chuck before discarding him into the barrier. At one point, Serpentico tried to get involved in the actual match but Chuck got his retribution by hitting a sick Awful Waffle and taking him out. One not-so-quick Superman punch to Luther’s third chin and OC was quickly back in his jacket and heading to the back.

This match was a quick filler match. It didn’t lead to anything but seeing the aforementioned Awful Waffle. I know it is what it was but it just wasn’t for me. They could’ve given me another women’s eliminator match especially after how hard the first one ruled.

Rating – 1 SRP

BOTCH: FTW For the Win

Taz, Hook and Cage show up to call out Sting so he can… them out I guess? It bothers me that they aren’t suspended for kidnapping Darby Allin even though a big story of FTR this week is they were suspended for kidnapping Marko Stunt. Schiavone did mention they were heavily fined but is there some stipulation that only one FT team can be suspended at a time?!? Anyway, Taz tells Sting that he’ll need the bat to fight the three of them and although the cameraman completely misses the shot, Sting throws the bat down so he can throw hands at Brian Cage. Hook hooks the bat around the neck and Cage, my god, Cage just powerbombed the living hell out of Sting. Does AEW not watch WWE?!?! That man is fragile (and 61 years old)! Team Taz leaves Sting in a pile on the mat, looking up at the lights. 

This segment definitely moved the story forward so I give it props to that. The powerbomb made me cringe though.

Rating – 1 SRP

POP: Family Matters

Eddie Kingston, and the Killer B’s (Butcher, Blade and Bunny) are backstage and Eddie explains their six man tag against Moxley, Archer and Fenix later as a family affair. I could literally listen to Eddie Kingston talk about family or fighting or anything all day long. Dude is so emotional and passionate that he is must-see-TV for me. He quickly runs down the three dudes as demons, says he can’t get rid of Moxley with booze, pills or women (AEW superstars, they’re just like us!) so he’s going to have to beat him.

Now this is how I like my promos. I’m hype for their match, the story is told quickly and effectively and my goodness, the Butcher is the scariest looking dude around. I’d hate to be staring at him from across the fightin’ ring!

Rating – 2 SRPs

POP: Back to School, Back to School, to Prove to Mox that I’m Not a Fool

WWE Champion Kenny Omega, Don Callis and Michael Nakazawa are shown in a classroom and he’s going to read the Young Bucks’ autobiography to a group of anklebiters! Marvez barges in on his eternal quest to stalk Kenny wherever he goes but he is quickly rebuffed by Nakazawa and Callis (using toy animals no less!). One precocious little tot asks if Matt and Nick are in love. Based off that cover picture, it’s a valid question!  Omega reads one excerpt about how he and Mox’ WrestleKingdom 12 match picked business up and Callis immediately tells them it’s time to wrap up. The kids want Omega to come play but they have to leave so Callis offers up Nakazawa. The children immediately chant “We hate Nakazawa” and then beat him down.  That’s not a typo.

Rating – 1 ½ SRPs

POP: Less Proud and Even Less Powerful

We’ve got ourselves a little match for the tag straps, ladies and gentlemen! The Young Bucks come out and we are shown a cutaway to an older couple seated at ringside. Those lovely people are actually Ma and Pa Buck! I guess they are there to counter the entire Inner Circle. Unfortunately for the IC, MJF gets caught by the erstwhile Rick Knox for attempting to interfere. This gets the entire Inner Circle kicked out from ringside and MJF just can’t seem to do anything right!

This is the third time these two teams have met in AEW so this is a de facto rubber match as each team has been victorious once before. The turning point in the match came when the black-haired Buck saved blonde Buck from a double superplex, which they then turned into a Doomsday Device. Oooh, what a rush! After a double cutter and a Street Sweeper, black-haired Buck jumps on the referee at the two count to break up the pin. I feel like that should be some sort of disqualification but what do I know. Pride and Powerful powerfully bomb Blonde Buck into the stands and after yelling that they’re the best, Ortiz immediately gets rolled up for the 1-2-3.

The Inner Circle immediately jumps into the ring to jump the Bucks. Kenny, Callis and the Good Brothers are shown backstage hemming and hawing whether or not they should help Kenny’s self-proclaimed “best friends in the whole world”. Brandon Cutler shows up and Hager absolutely manhandles him on the ramp while Jericho and MJF slap submissions on the Bucks. After some back and forth, Gallows and Anderson run wander out to the ring slower than Tully Blanchard wearing ankle weights and chase off Inner Circle.  They’re the real heroes here. Jericho talks some shit to Pa Buck who doesn’t take it too well and pushes Jericho away. MJF and Hager seem extremely affected by this as Jericho just chuckles at Pa Buck.

This was a fast-paced match and was built really well. I’m not the biggest fan of the flash pins but it’ll do here. Great storytelling with Omega and the Brothers taking their (too) sweet ass time getting out there. I’m not sure if the Pa Buck stuff will go anywhere but I have something to look forward to!

Ratings – 2 ½ SRPs for the match
                   2 SRPs for the post match

POTCH: Two Rhodes Converged

Brandi shows up on video to tell us that they are going to reveal the gender tonight Live on Dynamite (next!). She’s the only one that knows so far because Cody has a big mouth. The Rhodes come out to Daily’s Place and pink fireworks start going off.  According to the jumbotron, they’re having a girl!

Congratulations to the Rhodes. The future of women’s wrestling just got even better. Can’t wait for the Forbidden Door to be open one day so we can see Monroe and Madison Mizanin, Birdie Bella, Roux Rollins, Ambrosia Moxley and Unnamed Rhodes in an Elimination Chamber!

Rating – 1 ½ SRPs

POP: Fear The Return

Cody kicks Brandi to the back and hits the announce desk. FTR makes their triumphant return after a bullshit suspension to square off against Matt and Mike Sydal (There’s a second Sydal?!?) We have another special guest in the stands as the master of the spinning toe hold, Dory Funk Jr is here!  This match was full of action until Mike Sydal slips off the top rope and only hits a leg on Cash’s throat. After a couple of reversals, FTR hits The Big Rig for the win! I love the new name.

Doc Sampson randomly slides into the ring with his medical bag to “check on” Mike Sydal. FTR immediately snatches the bag and grabs the scissors. The new Brutus the Barber Beefcakes. Before they can snip, the lights go out and we see a silhouette of Luchasaurus in front of his cut mask. The lights come back on and Lucha Express is in the ring behind FTR. The big guy (Dino?) has a new mask and they put the boots to FTR. Jungle Boy locks the Snare Trap on Dax and Luchasuarus chokelsams Cash out of the Big Brother house.

I really enjoyed this match. I thought it was a lot of fun as I do with most FTR matches. As long as they’re not jumping around with icy hot on their dicks, they’re a great tag team to watch.

Rating – 3 SRPs


It appears not only does MJF read my work but so does Mox as he gets inside the building this week. Lucky for him, he finds a room illuminated in red since the fence was too hard to move inside the arena. The Mox Generic Promo (MGP) train runs through Eddie and KENTA then throws in Omega for good measure. I still love you, Mox.

I’m still not a fan of his promos but I love Mox and his intensity.

Rating – ½ SRP

POP: Stay out of the Kitchen!

I’m still not sure how I feel about a babyface Murderhawk Monster but I thoroughly enjoyed him walking out with Moxley. The amused look on his face while trying to look tough as he’s swaggin’ down to the ring (with Jake trying to keep up) was phenomenal. Sure beats the first time Mox and Jake were together. Laying the groundwork earlier for why Eddie requested this match since he had beef with all three really set the tone for the intensity and purpose of this match. Wrestling with a purpose is a beautiful thing.

There was just so much action in this match. I also appreciated each player’s role. Rey Fenix paying allllll the homage to Eddie Guerrero tugs right at the heartstrings. Eddie’s bloodlust for Mox throughout the entire match was so full of hate, animosity and a willingness to do whatever it takes to put him down (Spoiler alert, he did not). Archer and Butcher throwing their huge ass bodies all over each other and especially at each other. Special shoutout to Blade for looking like a small, jacked Miro.

One of my favorite AEW tropes is Moxley and Eddie smashing their heads together to yell at each other. As the youngest of three brothers, I know the emotion behind that tactic and it absolutely registers with me. Eddie gives a very real spinning back fist that hits Mox flush on the cheek. Mox responds by throwing a violent clothesline at Kingston, shifting his paradigm and gets the win for Fenix, Archer and Mox (Team FAM).

While Mox is celebrating on the turnbuckle, The Good Brothers beat the hell out of Moxley and hold him when Omega’s music hits and he comes storming out with the microphone. He has a Valentine’s gift with him from Tony Khan. Omega announces that for Mox’ rematch clause, he’ll grant it at Revolution IN AN EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATH MATCH!  What?!? In America?! This is super exciting, you guys!  So exciting in fact that Mox splits Omega’s head open with a headbutt just to get beat down and eat two V-Triggers in a row to close the show.

Rating – 2 ½ SRPs for the match
3 ½ SRPs for the post match fireworks

That’s all she wrote for this week folks. Another solid show on the way to Revolution. The March 3rd episode of Dynamite is also gearing up to be amazing. It still feels unreal to me that I get to review this show every week so I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it. Feel free to leave a comment below (good or bad, I’ll answer them all!) and share the column with your friends, family and followers. And seriously, join the Discord for good talk with good people. Wrestling unites!