The first February episode of AEW Dynamite took place last night from Hunstville, AL. The show featured the returning Yuka Sakazaki in her Dynamite debut taking on Britt Baker.
Before we get to all the goings-on on Dynamite we had a few interesting things take place on AEW Dark. First, we got a match between Hikaru Shida and Mel of the Nightmare Collective. While the match was good and saw Shida pick another victory, the main talking point coming out of the match was that Mel and “Japanese Deathmatch Legend” Luther turned on and attacked Awesome Kong.
This combined with Brandi Rhodes‘ therapy session videos, in which she seems to be coming to terms with the stupidity of it all, could hopefully spell the end of the poorly received faction.
We were then treated to AEW’s first intergender tag team match that featured AEW women’s champion Riho and Kenny Omega take on Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford.
The match took place on the Chris Jericho Rock and Wrestling Rager at Sea. The kicked off with Ford challenging Omega. The two tangled up before Sabian challenged Riho. The match was good fun and featured some very enjoyable spots with Ford and Riho especially getting the chance to shine. After the match, Kenny took to the mic to address the crowd and commemorate this moment.
Back to the matter at hand, AEW Dynamite continued to focus on and push Britt Baker’s heel turn. After cutting another scathing promo about the dental hygiene of the crowd she took on the ‘Magical Girl’ Yuka Sakazaki.
The two competitors locked up for a series of arm, wrist and headlocks followed by strikes and some high-flying offence.
Baker and Sakazaki would trade attacks for near falls until Baker attempted to submit her opponent with Lockjaw. However, Baker’s in-ring frustrations continued when Sakazaki countered the move into a cradle for the surprise victory.
Baker would snap and attack Sakazaki with the ring bell to the back of the head. Baker’s dastardly deeds wouldn’t stop there as she placed Sakazaki’s mouth on the bottom rope before viciously stomping the of her head causing her to lose a tooth.
Baker’s onslaught would continue as she cranked in the Lockjaw to fully solidify her new and improved villainous ways.
This quick but good match was all about the post-match angle, which was executed very well. Sakazaki as the returning, fun-loving, fan favourite babyface was the perfect sacrificial lamb for Baker’s punishment.
Later on the episode, it was announced that Riho would return next week to put her title on the line against Nyla Rose. Could we see a new champion or will the new Britt Baker insert herself into the mix?
Winner: Britt Baker
Heel turn complete and evil dentist with a superiority complex it is. This is just the character shift that Baker needed to boost her career. Her vicious promos and violent offence thus far have been enjoyable and in a roster short on heels we have a lot of new matches in the pipeline. A heel Baker vs Riho would be an interesting dynamic, as would matches against Shida and Statlander. Baker has the opportunity to become the driving force of the women’s division with this heel persona much more than her bland babyface character ever did. More of this, please.
Loser: Yuka Sakazaki
I mean if you leave the match with missing teeth you have to be the loser right? I was great to see her back in AEW despite it being in a losing effort. The post-match angle gives her ammunition for revenge and her association with Riho furthers Baker’s disdain for the AEW women’s champion. A revenge storyline and potential team-up with Riho could be on the cards that would be beneficial for all involved.
A quick match yet highly effective angle. Many assumed, including me, that the result would be in Baker’s favour as to send a message to Riho. However, the angle got Sakazaki a win all the while furthering Baker’s heel turn and continuing her upcoming feud with Riho. All in a good day’s work I say. We now have a multifaceted heel with an interesting story and character development within a division that has been crying out for such. Plus there was no Nightmare Collective again so positives all around.
What did you make of the show? Let us know below and as always stay tuned to Diva Dirt for all of your AEW news, reviews and updates.