The Ins And Outs Of AEW Dynamite 12/18/19: Rumble In The Jungle

Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite: The Dallas Cowboys defeated Proud and Powerful in a street fight to earn a shot at the AEW Tag Team Championship, a piece of shit humiliated Chris Jericho, and QT Marshall briefly ascended to greatness.

If you’d like to keep up with this column and its thinly veiled Best and Worst format, you can keep tabs on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite tag page. Elle Collins is also covering AEW Dark for us, and you can keep track of all things All Elite here.

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And now, the Ins and Outs of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite, originally aired on December 18, 2019.

Mostly In: The Assassination Of Michael Nakazawa By The Bastard PAC

This week’s show opens with Los Hermanos de Lucha Libre getting a major win over Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page. Omega and Page aren’t on the same page because they’re basically two time-displaced iterations of Seth Rollins. Omega is the Rollins who insists that he’s the best wrestler in the world and puts on the best matches anybody’s ever seen, and sure, he’s popular, but he’s not really lighting the promotion on fire like he wants to. Meanwhile, Page is early 2019 Seth Rollins. The one who’s keeping his head down and trying to “do what’s right” to make the fans happy and consistently fucking it up, through some combination of bad luck and spoiled personality. Unlike Omega Rollins, Hangman Rollins’ efforts are starting to feel bad-faith, and he’s distancing himself from his likable friends and blaming everyone but himself for his failures.

Long story short, Page — who it’s important to note just kind of abandoned The Elite off-screen at some point, and doesn’t seem to want to be friends with any of them — accidentally hits Omega with a Buckshot Lariat meant for Pentagon, and costs his team the match. When it’s over, Page starts puffing out his chest and blaming Omega for the loss, like Omega is the one who just did a full extraneous front flip over the top rope into a clothesline and somehow managed to miss the dramatically painted skeleton in sparkly clothes.

AEW Dynamite

Before things can escalate, PAC shows up on the … what’re we calling the AEW video screens, the KhanTron? The TitanKhan? PAC shows up on the TitanKhan upset that he’s being ignored and reveals that he’s firing back by attacking “Kenny Omega’s best friend” Michael Nakazawa. Best friend Michael Nakazawa, huh?


This (and a sneak attack from the Lucha Bros.) gets Omega and Hangman Adam on the same Page again, and that’s the last we see of it. It’s important to note, though — and shout-out to the announce team for actually bringing it up, so it doesn’t feel like I have to make up all the story connections in my head and assume it’s what they’re going for — that Adam Page is nowhere to be found during the show-ending attack that involves the rest of the Elite. Maybe he was too busy somewhere burning it down.

All Out: The Hair Scare Bunch

Awesome Kong finally gets a match on Dynamite and spends about 40 seconds killing Booker T student and former Rosebud Miranda Alize, who decides to take a front face bump on her hands and knees:

AEW Dynamite

Kong is still cutting off people’s hair and sniffing it, but we don’t know why. The announce team actually jokes among themselves about how little sense the Nightmare Collective makes, which probably isn’t a good sign. Brandi Rhodes wants an answer about Collective membership from Kris Statlander before the night is through, and is still teasing an appearance from rap legend Fat Joe.


Reddit solved the mystery of who this guy is and you can click here if you want to find out, but I hope it’s just a red herring for the debut of wrestling promotion rolling stone Billy Corgan. Either that, or Vampiro’s off his meds again and has returned seeking vengeance on Pentagon Jr.

Mostly In: Rhode Skating

There’s a lot of good stuff going on in the Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin versus The Butcher, The Blade, and The Bunny match. I’m gonna start calling them 3-Um-B so I don’t have to type that out in full every time. Like most of Cody’s matches in 2019, he’s not just going for one thing, he’s going for several, and ensuring that they all land. Here, he’s getting revenge on the new team MJF brought in to beat him up by removing their “choose my partner for me” advantage and putting them in there against a guy who has taken some of the top guys in the company to their limit. Plus, Darby Allin can go to those same threatening goth places as the heels. On top of that, Allin’s work in the match now guarantees him another shot at Cody. Plus, Cody wins the match with that big jumping cutter he’s doing now, which helps get secondary finishers over to help you buy them as believable near-falls down the road. Say what you want, but Cody Rhodes is my choice for wrestling of the year in 2019. Dude is always out there doing something. No wasted content.

The only criticism I’ve read about the match is that The B and The Other B and The Third B lost in only their second match in the promotion, which purportedly hurts them and makes them look pointless. I personally don’t think losing a competitive match to what’s ostensibly AEW’s Triple H and Dynamite’s most consistently breaking-out star hurts them too much. The teams went 11 minutes, so it’s not like they got squashed. Plus, they aren’t the boss fight. They’re minions. And now every goth cult can be the nWo and dominate everyone, especially when you’ve got the Inner Circle on top of all of them.

AEW Dynamite

All In: ECW Villain THE NETWORK Returns

AEW Dynamite

If Cody’s my pick for the guy who has consistently had the best matches, the Entertainer of the Year is Chris Jericho in a walk. Here he is alongside Sammy Guevara, holding up and pointing out signs that shit on TNT for putting Jericho promos and backstage ramblings into picture-in-picture. Thank you for saying what we all wanted to say, Inner Circle.

All In: Jungle Fever

This couldn’t have possibly worked better. This is how you do old school booking tropes.

The concept of a “can the scrappy underdog last 10 minutes in the ring with the dominant champion” accomplishes so many things. It builds sympathy for and connection with the babyface. It allows you to let the heel clearly have the match won, but have their hubris keep them from pulling the trigger, which sets up the drama of the rest of the match. You’ve got near-falls that blow the roof off the place, because the action has been so laser-focused on telling you what you want to happen, and you going along with it. It gives you a “loss” for a top guy without them actually having to lose, and a big “win” for the underdog without them having to go to a more unbelievable place and cut ties with reality. The announcers are selling it, the cutoffs are perfectly timed, and Jericho’s doing everything in his playbook to make Jungle Boy look like a star. The pieces are all positioned on the board, and moved from place to place by a master.

The “extra fine minutes” Jericho asked for when he couldn’t put Jungle Boy away in under 10 was great, too, as it added a whole new dynamic. Now you’ve got a fired-up Jungle Boy empowered by his “win” and doing better than ever, and you’ve got the still-egotistical heel who asked for the time bailing on it in the middle because he’s not doing as well as he assumed he would. Jericho immediately pivots to Jon Moxley, too, trying to talk about what “matters” and distract everyone from the fact that he just got straight-up embarrassed.

Plus, Jake Hager briefly mistook Marko Stunt for Greta Thunberg. I can’t blame him, they’re basically the same size.

AEW Dynamite

Now we’ve got:

  • a potential rematch between Jungle Boy and Chris Jericho with massive heat, whether it’s for the championship or not
  • the build to Hager vs. Luchasaurus continuing
  • more heat for any and all Inner Circle and Jurassic Express interactions based on observable history, and not just happening because one team’s “heel” and the other isn’t
  • the suggestion of a deeply unfortunate Jake Hager vs. Marko Stunt match at some point

Chris Jericho’s AEW Championship reign is the perpetual energy machine that powers the entire promotion. Hell of a first run. Jon Moxley should just join the Inner Circle and be his friend, it’s fine.

All In: Hey Look, Riho Still Exists!

AEW Dynamite

Are we sure they didn’t just tape this somewhere else and splice it in?

Regardless, those rankings everyone always complains about worked and made sense for once, as number one Britt Baker (who is a dentist) takes on number two Kris Statlander (who is an alien, or just a girl at a music festival, I haven’t figured it out yet) for a shot at Riho’s very small AEW Women’s Championship. It’s a well-structured match built around Statlander’s power game out-matching Baker’s skill and submission, and pays off that story by ending with Stat standing up in the Lockjaw and turning it into the Big Bang Theory. If you aren’t a wrestling fan, I assume this reads like a dead language.

Afterward, Kris Statlander responds to Tony Schiavone’s line of questioning by booping him on the nose. Mike Tenay is somewhere at home in a bathrobe watching TNT, drinking what I assume is room temperature tap water and thinking to himself, “I didn’t know we could do that.”

AEW Dynamite

The Nightmare Collective show up looking for their previously requested answer and get a boop of their own: a negative boop. We are learning a lot about alien languages here tonight, folks. This gets her attacked by the group and assaulted by the only weapon more deadly than the clangy poles, the WCW-style Women’s Shoe. If you made high heels where the heels were clangy poles, it’d be like splitting the atom.

My major hope here is that Statlander vs. Riho gets to be its own very good wrestling match, and that they keep any additional Nightmare Collective stuff relegated before or after it.

Kinda In: Order Up

Finally there’s the Tag Team Championship main event and post-match angle, which unfortunately had to go up against one of the best TV matches of the year on the other channel. Sorry!

Christopher Daniels ends up sitting this one out due to a confrontation earlier in the show, wherein Pentagon Jr. got him shook by showing him that really unfortunate Arabian Press botch from two weeks ago. I like that this has become part of the story, because it helps be believe that botch was done on purpose. I don’t want to live in a world where Christopher Daniels can’t still magically do all the same stuff he could do 20 years ago.

So yeah, the main event. SCU is still hanging on to those championships, man. I dunno. The Young Bucks are in that same spot as Kenny Omega where we keep being told they’re the best in the world, but they don’t actually seem to win anything important. I still can’t figure out why the company’s not built around the Bucks and Omega. Super weird. Regardless, it’s 10-plus minutes of solid tag team work that isn’t anybody’s best, but stays entertaining and gets the job done. It’s mostly there for the post-match stuff anyway.

AEW Dynamite

The Dark Orders shows up and attacks, managing to overpower the combined strength of the Bucks, SCU, Kenny Omega, and the Rhodes brothers. This all turns out to be an “initiation” for the Beaver Boys, Alex Reynolds and John Silver, who were recruited via the hotel guide channel last week. As mentioned, Hangman Page is nowhere to be found. Neither is Kenny Omega’s best friend, who presumably died when PAC attacked him.

The big moment here is pretty lame, though, as Evil Uno …. well, does this:

AEW Dynamite

what that mouth do

What did he do, remove his tonsils? Remove a cavity? Somebody get Dr. Britt Baker out here. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes now that one of the numerous goth cults appears to have cultivated enough mass to make a difference, but I hope they’ve got a grander master plan than, “give the Young Bucks strep throat.”

All In: Top 10 Comments Of The Week


When Statlander turns heel and starts cheating to win would that make her an illegal alien?

Years of watching anime has taught me that me that an alien going against a tiny Japanese girl probably won’t end well.


There’s a wrestler on The Indies names Doctor Britt Dentist who’s a Baker

The Real Birdman

An entire Jungle Boy training montage & he didn’t swing on vines once

If WCW style wrestling shows has proven anything, after getting hit with a women’s shoe, Statlander died on the way back to her home planet


I am now imagining Butcher and Blade as neighborhood dads trying to get this skater punk to stop doing kickflips over their mailboxes.

Plot twist: Jon Moxley joins Jurassic Express

Baron Von Raschke

The swerve is going to be that Tully is actually going to recruit Spears into The Dark Order.


Aubrey’s “over this” face with Pentagon’s hand mime chicanery is just the absolute best


On the newest episode of Dynamite, my true love gave to me,

12 Omegas Posing
11 Bad Boys flying
10 Bubblys popping
9 Codys blading
8 Kongs a cutting
7 Bastards ranting
6 excessive kickouts
5 Diamond Rings
4 goth teams
3 Death Drops
2 Superkicks
And an Orange Cassidy thumbs up

AEW Dynamite

when you start to pick your nose on the train

That’s it for this week’s Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite, and the show’s final live episode until the new year. It’s been an interesting couple of months, huh? And now Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard are plotting? That’s too much, man.

Drop a comment in our comments section below (we’re working on the fix for the missing “like”) to let us know what you thought of the show, give us a share on social media to help get more wrestling fans to read about the shows that’re actually trying, and make sure you’re back here after a happy and rejuvenative holiday season.