AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with even more AEW wrestling action as this is the first episode following their big All Out PPV! Things have not been looking great for AEW as their last few Dynamite have been pretty meh and there was the EXTREMELY unfortunate incident with Matt Hardy at all out, but coming off of a PPV means a chance at a fresh start, and I’m fairly confident that AEW can fight their way out of this funk. Is this the start of a brand new vision for the company with new storylines, new stars, and better in ring action, or should will we just be getting more of the same? Let’s find out!!
The show starts with Tony Schiavone interviewing both Jericho and MJF who just so happen to have arrived at the exact same time. They exchange pleasantries and praise each other for their skills, as well as assure the other that they were robbed in their PPV match. As soon as they are out of each other’s earshot however, they call each other losers which is hardly surprising considering they’re both egotistical heels. It was a fun little exchange that almost feels like a BTE sketch and is a fun little lead in for the first match.
Jurassic Express Vs. The Lucha Bros
This was a pretty good match where everyone was trying to go to eleven, but there were also a few botches here and there that undercut the intensity of it. An early one that the announcers even called attention to was when Jungle Boy tripped while launching off of Luchasaurus’s back which isn’t too surprising considering one of the big stories out of All Out was just how hot and humid it was and it’s no surprise that people are slipping on things. Still, Jungle Boy DID manage to just barely land his move on Rey Fenix, so the match didn’t come to a dead stop when it happened which was lucky for them. In fact, as good a job as everyone does here, this really was Jungle Boy’s night as the trip up is pretty much forgotten as soon as he gets the hot tag and runs wild on Pentagón and Fénix. An impressing Hurricanrana from the top rope followed by what I can only describe as a double arm drag gives him a solid advantage; at least until Pentagón shoves him off the apron and knocks him to the floor. Things go back and forth for a while until Pentagón lands a Back Stabber on Jungleboy and sets him up for an assisted pile driver, but the timing here is REALLY terrible and pretty much ruins the end of the match. Rey Fenix lands the stomp for the pile driver and Pentagon has Jungle Boy ready to pin, but he sees that Rey Fenix is running the ropes to take out Luchasaurus on the outside so he waits to do the pin until that spot is over which Jungle Boy naturally kicks out. Heck, in case you missed it the first time, they show a REPLAY of it where you can see VERY clearly that Pentagón is just SITTING THERE doing nothing! The match only goes on for a minute or two after that where Jungle Boy rolls up Rey Fenix for the win, but that very obvious botch took away a lot of the momentum for The Jurassic Express’s win here.
Rey and Pentagón are have a very tense argument in the ring and so Eddie Kingston runs in to yell at them until they calm down and shake hands. This goes on FOREVER as Kingston keeps yelling at them over and over again to shake hands like a fussy school teacher, but eventually they do and Kingston cuts a promo. Apparently he wasn’t PROPERLY eliminated in the Battle Royale at the PPV and he wants to make sure we all know it. Him and Lance WERE fighting on the apron and that’s where he got eliminated, so if he got on the apron legally (not over the top rope), then he would have a point, but this whole Eddie Kingston faction just hasn’t brought the best out of any of the people involved with it. I’m not giving up on it just yet, but they need to do some serious tweaking for this to work out.
Jake Roberts cuts a promo with Lance Archer. Archer’s here not to play nice or to be a proper champion, but to wreck stuff because they LIKE to wreck stuff.
Matt Hardy Speaks – What The Hell Happened On Saturday!?
In case you didn’t see the show, didn’t hear the news, and didn’t read my recap of the PPV, Matt Hardy took a bump from a scissor lift that could have ended his career which was bad enough. What made it WORSE is that they stopped the match when Ref Aubrey threw up the X sign but then restarted the match two minutes later. Matt Hardy runs out of a door, he brawls with Sammy for a minute or two before they climb up a tall thing, and Sammy takes a fall onto a crash pad to give Matt the win. Supposedly he got cleared by the doctor in the time between the match getting called off and him coming thru the door, but a lot of people find that hard to believe and have criticized AEW for their handling of the situation. This brings us to today and Matt hardy is in the ring to give us all a heart to heart. He’s thankful for the outpouring of support from fans (while tactfully ignoring the criticism), and confirms that after a MYRIAD of tests that he is going to make a full recovery. Now he’s not cleared to wrestle just yet, but he assures us that he will be back and that he’s sorry for making everyone worry; particularly his wife Rebecca who is in the audience and does NOT look happy. Hey, I don’t blame her! If that fall went any worse than it had and if something happened when they foolishly decided to keep it going, then perhaps we wouldn’t be having this happy update from the man, but I guess if he’s going to be okay and if AEW learns from this mistaken, then all’s well that ends well.
Orange Cassidy Vs. Angelico
Angelico is accompanied to the ring by Jack Evans
Orange Cassidy has definitely become a main event player in recent weeks, so like Cody when he had the TNT belt we’ll probably be seeing A LOT of Cassidy is straightforward matches like this. To his credit, he does end up giving a lot to Angelico who works him over with some unique looking submission holds for the first few minutes of this match, and I liked one bit where Cassidy went for the HANDS IN THE POCKET move but instead Angelico caught him and started throwing him around by his hands. Still, we know who the star is and Orange Cassidy does get his comeback which starts when he drops down so Angelico flies out of the ring. He follows this up with a Suicide Dive, a cross body, a swinging DDT and then finishes Angelico off with a Superman Punch. It was a very short little exhibition match but it also did a good job of making both men look like great workers and I’ll frankly take a short solid match over one that goes on for way too long.
As soon as the match is over, Santana & Ortiz run out and attack Cassidy. The Best Friends come out a few seconds later; too late to keep Cassidy from getting hurt but just in time to cut a promo! Trent & Chuck take turns calling out Santana & Ortiz and they dare them to meet them in the parking lot next week for a street fight. Wasn’t The Best Friends supposed to have a Street Fight like four months ago that never happened? Maybe it was against Lucha Bros? In any case, I guess they’re not done with the feud quite yet and hopefully this street fight will be a better capstone to it than the match we got on the Go Home show last week.
Alex Marvez is at the Bucks’ locker room and starts knocking on the door to try and get an interview with them. After a minute or so, the Bucks open the door, give him a Superkick Party, and then slam the door in the camera’s face. I’m assuming this means that The Elite is going heel, what with Kenny’s gestures towards being a bad guy and the two other members who haven’t exactly turned heel yet (Cody and Page) effectively out of the group for the time being. I guess there are enough likable baby faces on the show to compensate for this, but there are so many heel factions already that throwing THE ELITE in there as well could only make it that much harder for guys like Eddie Kingston to stand out.
Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford – Wedding Update! Who Will Be The Best Man!?
Kip and Ford come out to the ring where Tony Schiavone is waiting to interview them, but Kip runs him off for being a loser and takes the mic to introduce his best man properly. And that man is… some dude named Puff. I don’t know who Puff is, but he’s some dude who looks GREAT in a Hawaiian shirt and who subscribed to Kip’s Twitch channel. Certainly an interesting choice if nothing else! Okay fine, it was just a misunderstanding and Kip has to shoo him away so that he can introduce the REAL best man. And that man is… Brian Pillman Jr? Nope. Not him either. Apparently he got a text from Kip that said “You’re the best, man” with the obvious use of a comma there that Pillman somehow missed, and Kip is in NO mood for this so he says they aren’t friends and kick him out of the ring. Third time’s the charm? Okay, so the REALLY REAL best man is… Miro! Who’s Miro? I don’t know, but the crowd seems to be really into it, so I guess he’s some indie darling or a guy from New Japan… wait a minute.
HOLY CRAP! IT’S RUSEV!! He cut his hair really short and dyed it blonde so I didn’t recognize him right away, but yeah that’s the former Rusev from the WWE! The crowd starts chanting Miro Day which is fun, and he wastes NO time burying the WWE for the crap they pulled over his long tenure there and that he’s now All Elite! THAT was a hell of an introduction even if it took me a minute to realize it! Not EVERYONE from WWE should get a spot on AEW, but freaking Rusev absolutely deserves It’s even more fitting that he’s coming in for a wedding angle which was what effectively made his character a joke before being cast off from the company.
Tony is interviewing Adam Page who finally gets to speak his mind uninterrupted. He seems to be wallowing in his own self-hated for what he did to the Bucks and how he lost the belts to FTR. As far as where he stands with Kenny, he doesn’t know. He’s hopeful that Kenny will be willing to climb the tag team rankings with him again, but it’s looking more and more like a foolish endeavor. I guess it was necessary to check back in with Adam Page after all that’s happened, but he didn’t really say anything we didn’t already know. No real twists or turns, and seeing him speak so pitifully is not exactly what I wanted.
Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela Vs. Chris Jericho & Jake Hager – No Disqualification Match
Joey took a MASSIVE beating from Jericho a week ago and Sonny managed to eliminate Hager at the Casino Battle Royal, so there’s certainly a few axes worth grinding in this match and both teams definitely are making the most of it. Particularly impressive is the teamwork that Janela and Kiss display throughout this match as they have very good timing and even manage to take the advantage fairly early on. It’s almost a shame frankly that it’s a No DQ match because the weapons spots are just kind of THERE and aren’t nearly as interesting as seeing Jericho and Hager eat simultaneous drop kicks. There is however ONE weapon spot that stands out, but not for a particularly good reason. So Jake Hager puts a trash can on Sonny Kiss and does a Vader Bomb with the idea is that the trash can will make it hurt more for… reasons. However, as Hager starts lifting himself up to drop on Kiss, Sonny holds UP the can and I guess that transfers the pain to Hager? I have no idea what was going on with that, but that was really the only bad spot in the match and everything else after that is pretty great. Jericho and Janela are fighting on the stage until Jericho manages to toss Janela to Hager who just throws him right through a table set up outside the ring. This leaves Sonny alone in the ring, but he somehow manages to fend both Hager and Jericho off all by himself which was very impressive to see, and he even manages to knock Hager right on his back with a spinning forearm! Sonny is on the top rope and is ready to take out Hager, but Jericho comes out of nowhere with a fire extinguisher and blows it right in his face. Sonny drops off the corner and Hager manages to slam him so hard into the canvas that he gets the three count. Despite a few awkward points here and there with the weapons, I thought this was a very solid showing for Kiss and Janela who look like genuine superstars after the performance they gave here!
Jericho grabs the mic and admits that The Inner Circle hasn’t had the best run of luck lately, but he and Hager will turn that all around by becoming a tag team and getting those belts from FTR. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out considering how stacked the division is already, but I guess we always need SOMETHING for Jericho to do. After all, he IS the Demo God!
We cut to MJF in the back as he whines about Jon Moxley cheating in their match at the PPV and takes out his frustration on his campaign team who he fires on the spot. So now it’s back to just him and Wardlow but instead of coming up with a new plan for them to succeed, he just yells at the poor guy and practically BEGGING him to smash his face in! He’s not scared though because apparently Wardlow’s checks are signed by MJF. Perhaps this means that AEW didn’t actually hire him which seems odd considering they’ve got graphics and stuff for him whenever he wrestles, or perhaps MJF is paying him MORE money on the side than what AEW is already paying him which would ALSO be odd as I don’t think management would be too happy about their employees subcontracting each other. It’s just a weird angle to take this and I’m not sure I particularly like it, but I guess it does continue to build towards their eventual breakup so we’ll have to see where that goes from here and what MJF’s plans are now that he missed his shot at the title.
Moxley has a promo as well and he flat out admits that he’s not all THAT happy about having to fight a guy named THE MURDERHAWK, but anything worth doing isn’t going to be easy, and he’s the one man strong enough and foolhardy enough to keep defending that belt; no matter WHO is coming for him. What can I say? It was another good promo from Moxley! He only needs like two minutes to turn any match into a genuine feud and I’m hoping that he has a good match with Lance.
FTR Celebration – Our New Tag Team Champions!
Now that FTR hold the belts, it’s only natural that they’d spend time gloating about it in the middle of the ring while the rest of the tag team division just stands awkwardly outside of it; listening to these two as well as Tully Blanchard bloviate about how great they are and giving backhanded complements to everyone else. They eventually get done talking about themselves and let us know what the future holds for the belt as they agree to face Jurassic Express next week, but only in a non-title match. See, Jurassic Express may be a decent enough team, but they don’t DESERVE a chance at the gold just yet which… I mean I guess is true since they aren’t even in the top five rankings now for the division, but if they somehow win their match next week then MAYBE they’ll get a chance down the road. The Jurassic Express is NOT happy about this and they enter the ring to start menacing them at which point they pivot fully to cowardly heels trying to talk their way out of a beat down… before Cash Wheeler throws a bunch of napkins in their face and roll out the ring. They’re standing outside the ring with Tully for some reason (one of them might be bleeding) and while distracted with whatever is going on there, Jurassic Express pours a cooler full of ice on them. FTR leaves in a huff and it’s clear that no one in the tag division LIKES them as all the tag teams get in the ring and start eating FTR’s cake as soon as they’re gone. I can’t say I was all that into this segment as FTR just came off kind of insufferable and The Jurassic Express don’t really DO that much here that would put over their match next week. Sure they dumped ice on the guys, but in the world of wrestling that’s about as antagonistic as not holding an elevator door.
Ricky Starks comes out doing his Darby Allin gimmick and calls the guy out for what, the third time now? Much like the Best Friends/Proud N Powerful feud, it feels like we’re just going in circles here with these two and I’m not sure what the endgame is.
Nyla Rose Vs. Tay Conti
Rose is accompanied to the ring by Vickie Guerrero
As green as Nyla Rose can has been in some of her matches, I’m VERY glad to see her again because she brings personality and gravitas to her matches while also cutting really good and intense promos. As far as the match itself, it’s fine. Rose maintains a pretty solid advantage, but she does give up quite a bit to Tay Conti in this match. Unfortunately most of it was during a picture in picture segment and most of what we get is a bit of squashing at the beginning and an arm bar from Conti that Rose turns into a Beast Bomb to get the win. Vickie grabs the mic and starts SCREECHING into it to let everyone know that they are the Vicious Vixens (okay…) and that they aren’t going anywhere. Nyla picks up Tay to set her up for what looks to be another Beast Bomb, but Shida runs out with the kendo stick and forces Rose to back off. Shida definitely has gravitas to her and she’s a SIGNIFICANTLY better wrestler, but the lack of promos and the very basic feuds that have been set up for her title reign leave a lot to be desired and I’ll be interested to see if another challenge from Rose will elevate the title a bit.
JR is interviewing Kenny Omega who at least gives a better explanation for what’s been happening with him in the last few months than Hangman had. He admits that when he came to AEW he expected to be the top dog at the company, but none of it really worked out for him until he joined up with Page and got momentum as the tag team champions. Now, all of that is done and over with so JR asks him point blank; what’s next for Kenny Omega? Well he’s not particularly interested in reforming the team with Hangman, and he plans to commit himself to the singles division which a lot of people have definitely been looking forward to.
Dustin Rhodes Vs. Brodie Lee – TNT Title Match
Dustin comes in hot and attacks Brodie before the bell rings and they start brawling outside the ring for a few minutes. I’m not a fan of the WAIT TO RING THE BELL thing as everything that happens until then feels inconsequential. Heck, why is Ref Remsberg even following them outside? It’s not an official match yet! They eventually get back to the ring and the match can properly begin with Brodie Lee and Dustin trading blows before… well going back to the outside. It’s one big slugfest as neither seem all that interested in doing “wrestling moves” when they can just smack each other and throw them into things, and Dustin comes off like an unstoppable force here! Things eventually start to settle down a bit as they transition from chops and strikes to more traditional moves like Powerslams and Bulldogs, but Dustin is no less formidable and Brodie Lee is no less determined to keep his belt! Dustin somehow manages to land a Canadian Destoryer on this big dude which looked amazing but only got him a two count. He follows up with a Cross Rhodes in honor of his brother but even with that he only manages to get two. Then it’s Brodie’s time to show off as he manages to LIFT this dude up into the air and lands a Power Bomb for a two count. It’s not looking good for Brodie Lee so John Silver runs in to try and interfere which goes REALLY badly as the distraction gives Dustin a chance to land a low blow on Brodie and immediately eats a low blow of his own when he jumps off the top rope. It really comes down to the wire after that and I was convinced that there was a genuine chance Brodie would lose his title on his first defense with just how much damage Dustin was dealing throughout and how much the crowd was genuinely behind him. However it was not meant to be as Brodie Lee perseveres and just barely lands his Discus Lariat on Dustin to get the pin. This was such a great match and gave both these two a chance to shine in a way we haven’t really seen from them. Both big dudes, both athletic as all heck, and both just slugging it out in a way that looked like a clash of titans! I’m REALLY hoping they have a rematch soon considering how great this turned out!
The rest of the Dark Order comes out to celebrate with Brodie Lee and they’ve even brought QT Marshall along with them to prove how sinister they are! Colt Cabana tries to give Brodie a thumbs up, but the dude is still pissed about the match at All Out and Evil Uno has to play peacekeeper as they both return to the back. The obvious answer here would be for Cabana to betray Brodie Lee at some point for a face turn, but I think it’d be WAY more interesting if he PROVED himself to the Exalted One by doing something truly despicable! We’ll have to wait to see where that story goes however, because now it’s time for Brodie Lee to gloat as he kicks Dustin right in the nuts and mocks him as he’s writhing on the floor. Brodie Lee then holds up his TNT title belt as the show comes to a close; asserting his place as the champ and the dominance of the Dark Order here at AEW.
AEW has had a rocky few weeks and a VERY unfortunate spotlight on them after the Matt Hardy incident at All Out, but they came back strong and put on what is easily the best show they’d done in quite some time. I have my quibbles here and there with some of the angles, particularly the ones that just seem to be jogging in place like the Best Friends and Ricky Starks, but there was a lot of great action on this show and the main event was absolutely fantastic which ended the show on a VERY high note! Things are definitely looking up for AEW what with the arrival of Miro and the engaging TNT title storyline, so let’s hope they can keep this momentum going and that they DON’T have any more life threatening injuries in the near future!