AEW Elite 8 is our weekly look at eight things that we liked about the latest episode of AEW Dynamite. You can check out last week’s Elite 8 here.
8. Orange Cassidy, always leaving us wanting more
Whatever your opinion on Orange Cassidy and his place in professional wrestling is, you have to admire the way he has been used in AEW. He always manages to show up at the exact right time and do the exact amount of stuff that keeps you wanting more. Despite what dorks on the internet say he never insults the viewer or the unreality of the sport and he always gives the audience exactly what they want from him.
There was a lot going on in this battle royale and I didn’t notice that Orange Cassidy wasn’t at ringside at first, as it should be. The focus should always be on who is in the ring and especially in a match like this where the stakes were high. Then just when you thought it was over for Trent and the Best Friends, a wild Orange Cassidy appears.
It’s a minor thing, but Orange carrying Trent on his shoulder’s also shows that he’s not weak. He has muscles, he can carry around his friend if he wants. he just doesn’t usually want to. That’s key to who Orange Cassidy is and why all the bad opinions about him are wrong.
There may come a day when Orange Cassidy evolves and becomes a more active wrestler on the roster. I’m sure he’ll do great at it too because he’s a fantastic wrestler, but I’m completely fine with these small moments where he gets to just show up and be awesome.
In a battle royale filled with cool moments, this is the one that is going to stick with me. The perfect use of Sammy Guevara and his stupid face.
AEW Dynamite last night was killer pic.twitter.com/yDgFgHrG7g
— Maffew (going to wXw 16 Carat) (@Maffewgregg) February 20, 2020
6. Nyla Rose, tripping off the power
Nyla’s unique pronunciation of hungry (hong-gree?) aside, her interview with Tony Schiavone showed a true changing of the guard in the AEW Women’s Division. The division under Riho was competitive with each woman competing to work their way up the rankings for a title shot. Like Riho herself, title matches could be fun and wrestlers could respect one another when the match was done. With Nyla as champion? That’s out the window. The women’s division is war now.
Way back on January 15th, the Dark Order did a pre-paid spot where The Exalted One talked to their spokesman about their latest recruiting efforts. bossmoz on twitter took this clip and edited the sound mix to find that it was the voice of former ECW star Raven.
that's so raven pic.twitter.com/ZZas4BAXgb
— bossmoz (@BossMoz) January 16, 2020
This was a different voice than a previous appearance of The Exalted One and then another pre-paid announcement featuring saw a completely different voice for The Exalted One. It’s almost like the Dark Order was trolling us. Well, they’re still trolling us.
— Andy Nemmity (@AndyNemmity) February 20, 2020
Raven was seated several seats behind The Dark Order when they taunted SCU during the Tag Team Battle Royale and watched on as the teams brawled. The message here is clear: The Dark Order know you are trying to figure out who The Exalted One is and they are toying with you. Raven could very well be involved with The Dark Order, but he’s not The Exalted One. They are going to make you wait to find out like everybody else.
4. Darby’s house
It’s pretty insane that there was a really good Jon Moxley/Jeff Cobb match that: 1) set-up Jeff Cobb as someone to be reckoned with in AEW, 2) continued to build to the red-hot Jericho/Moxley match at Revolution, and 3) continued to make Moxley look like the biggest badass in AEW; and all I can think about is Darby Allin.
His return her got the loudest cheer of the night in the State Farm Arena and got us one step closer to the Moxley/Allin partnership that will spawn a million fanfics. Darby is the greatest.
3. Adam Page & Kenny Omega vs. Lucha Brothers
This match was everything that you could ever want from an AEW World Tag Team Championship match and it might be the best in Dynamite history. AEW only has highlights up for this one, but I really think they should put up the whole match on YouTube. It’s the kind of match that AEW does better than anyone and something I’d love to share with anyone who is still on the fence about giving AEW a try.
I need some time to wrap my mind around what The Young Bucks vs. Page & Omega is going to look like, but I have a feeling it’s going to be an emotionally charged, couples therapy version of this and I’m not sure my brain can handle that.
2. Cody, always Cody
On a night where Moxley stayed red hot, Darby Allin returned a conquering hero, and Page/Omega/Fenix/Pentagon staked their claim as the best wrestler in AEW; Cody once again stood tall above everyone else in AEW. Literally.
Wardlow was an absolute monster and managed to have an even more impressive debut than Jeff Cobb earlier in the evening. He absolutely destroyed Cody here and he’s going to be something special. That said, this was all about Cody.
The things that Cody has put his body through to get his match with MJF at AEW Revolution is inspiring and we’re at a point where anything less than the total annihilation of MJF by Cody will feel like a letdown. Somehow, I don’t think we’re going to feel that way.
1. AEW Revolution
This is the best built pay-per-view in the history of All Elite Wrestling and one of the best built shows in the history of wrestling. The top three of Cody vs. MJF, Young Bucks vs. Omega & Page, and Moxley vs. Jericho are three of the biggest matches in AEW history and they are all completely different matches.
Even undercard matches like Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin and Jake Hager vs. Dustin Rhodes feel important and necessary. Seriously, a Jake Hager match feels important! This is crazy!
I know I am biased (and I have tickets to this show so I am extra biased), but this show has the potential to be one of the greatest pay-per-views in wrestling history if the top matches deliver and there is no reason to think that they won’t deliver.
This is it. This is what we’ve been waiting for. AEW, get excited!