AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
So after a week of nonstop action with two shows more or less back to back, it’s time for things to return to normal as we move forward from the events of Double or Nothing to see what AEW has planned for the future! Is this the start of a bold new direction for show, or did they use up all of their good ideas on the PPV? Let’s find out!!
Before getting started, it’s worth noting that the hard cam is back to facing the Titantron and the small crowd of people sitting there on the stage which is the position it’s been in since the Pandemic except for last Friday’s show and the PPV. With that new section of crowd it’s probably the best place for it, and it least it doesn’t have the DAILY’S PLACE sign shining brightly in the background.
The Young Bucks Vs. Death Triangle (Pac & Penta El Zero M)
The Bucks are accompanied to the ring by Brandon Cutler
I was expecting this to be the main event of the show considering all four guys were in big matches at the PPV (three of whom in title matches), but The Bucks like to go on first and you really couldn’t ask for a better matchup to hook views in for the rest of the show. During The Bucks’ entrance which is as obnoxious and heelish as you’d expect, Frankie Kazarian moves through the crowd and attacks Michael Nakazawa for seemingly no reason other than to terrorize The Bucks. I’m not sure they’ll care all THAT much as no one seemed to care when he got his butt handed to him by an army of six year olds, but it’s clear that Kazarian is not done being The Bucks’ biggest pest! It does accomplish one thing however as The Bucks are momentarily distracted by all the commotion which allows Pac and Penta to take a bunch of shots at The Bucks before the bell rings which is a trope I STILL don’t like, but whatever it takes to get this match started. To their credit, Death Triangle does get an early advantage and it looks like they might run away with this, but it’s not long before The Bucks are in control and are doing their usual goofy heel shtick. The best moment is when Nick has Pac held outside the ring, but instead of Matt doing a Suicide Dive he exits on the opposite side and does a Braun Strowman like run around the entire ring just to land a clothesline which they celebrate as if they had hit Pac with a freight train. The Bucks continue to get the heat on Pac for a while, but he eventually escapes with a German Suplex and gets the hot tag to Penta who throws out Slingblades like they’re going out of style! It’s as good run of offense to be sure, but for me they kind of overdid the tags as Penta’s barely in for a minute before he’s tagging Pac back in and then Pac does little more than a Pop Up Powerbomb before he tags out once again! From there things descend into chaos as everyone is throwing out big moves and I lose track of who’s the legal man for each team. Some highlights include a nut shot Pac delivers to Matt from the top rope, Penta landing a Canadian Destroy on Nick who then eats a Canadian destroyer from matt right after, and Matt Jackson ripping off Penta’s mask only to find… ANOTHER MASK! The biggest move however was a Fear Factor from Penta followed by a Black Arrow from Pac that ALMOST gets them the win if Matt Jackson hadn’t broken it up. This failed pin attempt was the last one that Penta and Pac would get as Pac goes up for another Black Arrow but Brandon Cutler comes from behind and bashes Pac in the leg which knocks him off the post and into the waiting arms of Nick Jackson who rolls him up to get the pin and win the match. That’s not good enough for The Bucks however who try to take off Penta’s remaining mask and set him up for a Superkick party, but they are chased off by a very furious Eddie Kingston running to the ring. No appearance from Jon Moxley tonight with the storyline reason being that he’s too injured from the PPV match, but what’s really going on is that his daughter is going to be born soon so he’s back home for the foreseeable future. It was a pretty good match that maybe got a bit out of hand with everyone running in and out, but with The Bucks and Penta it’s kinda what you should’ve expected in the first place.
Mark Henry was announced as a coach as well as a commentator for AEW Rampage which should be premiering in August, and he comes out to assure everyone that he’s not here to fix anything at AEW because AEW is fantastic the way it is. With so many ex-WWE guys running around, especially guys as ingrained with the brand as Mark Henry, it makes sense to assure us that they aren’t here to take it oer. However, Tony Schiavone doesn’t leave the very obvious question to just hang there and asks him right up; is he going to get in the ring? The answer is a very diplomatic DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP, with the asterisk of NEVER SAY NEVER in case AEW needs to pop a rating. Henry’s not the only one with something to say though as Vickie Guerrero comes out (screeching, naturally) to announce AEW’s latest signing, which is… Andrade El Idolo? Okay, for those of you who don’t know (much like myself), that is the former Andrade Cien Almas from WWE which is great news! The guy, much like Miro, was always one of the best they had who they just never knew what to do with and now that he’s done floundering over there he’s here to light things up at AEW! That said, this big introduction just felt kind of off. First, it took him way too long to come out after Vickie announced his name (a name that I’m sure few in the audience recognized immediately) so there’s too much awkward silence there, and when he DOES come out he does so without ANY music! Sure the crowd is cheering for him, but something felt a bit off with what is supposed to be the debut of a new superstar.
Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson Vs. QT Marshall & Anthony Ogogo
Cody and Johnson are accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson
Yeah, I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet; it feels like a House Show match that’s just there to get the younger talent some ring time which is fine I suppose as I DO want Johnson and Ogogo to succeed here, but this feels like it could have just as easily taken place in a gym on one of their days off. Johnson definitely looks better than Ogogo with a deeper repertoire of moves, and he and QT have some good moments that make the crowd pop before Cody gets the hot tag to run wild. He puts QT in a Figure Four Leg Lock that threatens to make QT tap, but Ogogo flies in from the top rope to break up the hold. They try to do the same thing by having QT land a Diamond Cutter on Cody and going for the pin, but Lee Johnson missed his spot because the ref counts two and Cody has to get his shoulder up, and then Johnson comes flying in to break up the pin that’s already ended. Aaron Solow comes out to distract the ref and Ogogo runs in to punch Cody in the face right as he’s setting up QT for the Cross Rhodes and he goes down like a ton of bricks but does so in such a way that QT is laying on top of him, so the ref counts the pin; giving QT and Ogogo the win. The match wasn’t THAT bad and it certainly got some pops from the crowd, but it just kinda felt awkward and both Ogogo and Johnson could use a bit more work off of TV instead of working out the kinks here.
The Inner Circle come out after the match0 and they let the audience sing ALL of Judas which was fun before getting down to some SERIOUS BUSINESS! They are here to assure us that the feud between them and The Pinnacle is FAR from over despite blowing it off twice in the last month. Santa and Ortiz are still mad at FTR for putting them through tables on the Friday show, Jericho wants to destroy MJF’s career, and Hager still wants to get one over on Wardlow after losing to him in a proper match a few months ago. At least with that matchup though they DO give it an interesting twist as Hager challenges him NOT to a wrestling match but to an MMA match! I’d certainly be interested to see how that works out though I can assure you that Hager will ABSOLUTELY win that match; otherwise it’d be a serious impact to his ACTUALL MMA career at Bellator to have lost to an untrained wrestler. It was a perfectly fine promo and while we’re certainly doing things in reverse with smaller matches following the big blow ones, they will surely be entertaining fights as both teams are full of very talented guys who can create some interesting matchups.
We cut to the back where Chuck and Trent are ranting at the camera behind a pacing Orange Cassidy as they explain that Cassidy had Omega beat TWICE in the match; first when Don Callis pulled the ref out of the ring and second when Cassidy had him pinned but the replacement ref took a few seconds to get out there and count it. Cassidy lets his buddies do all the trash talking towards Callis and Omega, but right at the end he says that this isn’t over. It’s another good promo to be sure, but once again the plan seems to be to rehash what we just saw on Sunday.
Omega and Callis are in the back as well looking over footage from the title match when Alex Marvez comes in to ask him about Cassidy’s proclamation which Callis shoots down immediately. Next week in fact, they’re going to blow the lid on this whole KENNY CHEATED conspiracy so that should be an interesting bit of moon logic to see them try to sell, but even more important than that we are confirming that Jungle Boy will get his title shot against Omega in three weeks; something that Kenny isn’t too worried about as he and Callis start mockingly singing his theme song. Speaking of whom!!
Jungle Boy & Christian Cage Vs. Private Party
Private Party are accompanied to the ring by Matt Hardy
Battle Royales are pretty much built to create or exacerbate feuds, and while the one on Sunday wasn’t all that great it STILL had a heck of an ending with these four dudes, so seeing them continue with the storyline makes sense rather than feeling like we’re just repeating the same thing over again. That said; this seems to be a bad night for everyone as once again we have a match that just doesn’t click together. It starts off fine with Jungle Boy and Cage maintaining an early lead until the former goes for a middle rope move and is knocked out of midair by a drop kick from Quen. From there they start getting the heat on Jungle Boy and things start to get weird. JR takes a moment to figure out the best pronunciation of “royale” and the camera crew must have been just as confused as I was because we get a half second cut to the empty entrance way before cutting back to the action. That kinda threw me for a bit (and won’t be the last time JR went on a strange tangent), but Christian Cage gets the hot tag and runs wild for a bit before Matt Hardy distracts him which allows Kassidy to drop Cage neck first onto the top rope (that must have HURT) and they start getting the heat again. We are right back to weirdness though as Private Party starting doing 0some sort of pose thing to taunt Cage? I didn’t understand what’s that’s supposed to be and they end up doing it again; this time by moving Cage’s arms so that HE’S doing the posing. Thankfully Cage manages to drop these two in the middle of this performance and gets the hot tag to Jungle Boy who DDTs Quen through the ropes and sends him flying hallway across the ring! They tease the Snare Trap with Jungle Boy but it’s broken up immediately by Kassidy who also thumbs him in the eye so that Quen can roll him up. He only gets a two count, but it was a VERY close one and so Private Party goes for the Gin and Juice to finish him off. While setting it up though, Cage runs in and spears Kassidy which allows Jungle Boy to get Quen into the Snare Trap that he taps out to which gives Jungle Boy and Christian Cage the win, but Matt Hardy is a sore loser and gives Cage a Twist of Fate before running away like a freaking cartoon character! I’ll give it this, it was WAY better than the Cody match as there weren’t any botches in the match (aside from the camera man), but it still had it’s odd moments like with the posing and it ultimately felt like little more than a time killer; something to get them to a full show rather than anything particularly memorable or important.
After the match, Tony calls Sting and Darby to the ring to talk about their victory at Double or Nothing. Sting gets the mic and spends a few minutes showing his appreciation to the crowd by proclaiming that the tag match last Sunday was one of the bets nights he’s had in his career, but before Darby can get a word in, Sky and Page show up on the Titantron. They congratulate Sting on his win; especially having to carry the dead weight of Darby Allin who spent most of the match in a crumpled heap. They continue to needle Darby about having to rely on Sting to get ANYWHERE in AEW and they want to prove it to him by having another tag match. He can get ANYONE to wrestler with him… as long as it’s not Sting. It’s yet another rehash as Darby and Sting won clean in the middle last Sunday, but another match with Darby, Sky, and Page is sure to be fun and I’m interested to see who he gets to tag with him.
Britt Baker Celebration – The Doctor Is In And Ready To Party!!
Celebrations don’t have the BEST track record on AEW with the Inner Circle Thanksgiving special being overlong and a little awkward and the FTR celebration being… well the same, and unfortunately that trend continues here; maybe not so much in terms of length, but DEFINITELY in awkwardness. Right off the bat we get a very strange sight as Tony is in the middle of the ring with the most random assortment of people you could possibly imagine. We’ve got TH2, The Wing Men, Serpentico & Luther, Diamante, Vickie Guerrero, and… NYLA ROSE? Where the heck has she been the last few months!? Not only that, there’s a table in the middle of the ring… with a bunch of cheese burgers on it. WHAT IS GOING ON!? Once all this has started to sink in, Tony announces Britt Baker who comes out with Rebel (Not Reba) and we learn that Baker got fifteen hundred burger coupons for winning the title which sounds like a VERY strange and specific thing to be gifted, and to show her benevolence she says the coupons are under everyone’s seats! PSYCH! NO ONE GETS FREE CHEESEBURGERS!! She earned those coupons darn it, and she got here all by herself! Well except for Rebel (Not Reba)… and I guess Tony who was there during her rehab after the leg injury, but still! This is one nation under Britt, and its Crown Jewel is the AEW Women’s Title Belt that no one will take away from her anytime soon! Nyla Rose is not enjoying any of this (can’t say I blame her) and starts throwing burgers to the crowd after knocking one out of Baker’s hand which I guess means that she’s going to be the first challenger for the belt. IN THEORY, that’s a pretty good idea since she’s had the title before and has some clout in the division. However, Rose IS the one who accidently broke Baker’s leg which took her out of action for almost a year, and there’s a lot more at stake now then there was then so I can only hope that she’s safe enough that Baker will be comfortable in the ring with her again.
Eddie Kingston is being interviewed in the back but is immediately interrupted by Penta and Pac who are VERY upset that he came out to help them in the opening match. Eddie simply says that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and walks off, which was fun to see as Kingston is ALWAYS great, but there’s just nothing else to this.
Red Velvet Vs. The Bunny
The Bunny is accompanied to the ring by The Blade while Velvet is accompanied by Big Swole and KiLynn King
Now this is a match that is built ENTIRELY off of an angle from Elevation but frankly I’m just glad that it’s something that doesn’t directly refer back to the PPV. I also like the idea of Red Velvet having her own stable with Swole and King as individually they can get a bit lost but as a group there’s some real potential there; especially Swole who was positioned to be a major player on Dynamite but then just fell off the map. Sadly, the match itself is pretty bad. It starts off with a botch where Velvet is supposed to trip a charging Bunny, but the timing is off for both of them and Bunny begins to fall several seconds before Velvet does a kick that maybe kinda sorta would have led to her getting tripped. Then Bunny rolls out of the ring so that Red Velvet can do a Suicide Dive, but either Velvet had too much spin or Bunny wasn’t in the right spot because Velvet SEEMS to have landed HEAD FIRST onto the floor! The reports are that she’s okay, but two botches within a minute of the match is a very auspicious start. Thankfully nothing else in the match was as badly executed as that (Bunny throws a Thrust Kick and the immediately falls over but that’s about it) but there’s nothing about the match that’s particularly interesting either. Bunny gets the heat for a bit during the commercial before Red Velvet fights back and manages to land a Stunner for a two count. They go on for a bit longer and Bunny goes for what I’m guessing was a Samoan Drop, but Velvet wriggles out and gives her a swift kick in the stomach. She then runs the ropes but Bunny gives her a Superkick to the face which keeps her down just long enough for The Blade to hand Bunny a pair of brass knuckles which will surely bring an end to this match. Bunny goes for a strong right hook but Velvet avoids it and lands her Just Deserts kick combination to get the pin and win the match. This was just not a good match as the two of them weren’t on the same page and what they DID get right just wasn’t that impressive. I will say that they at least kept it pretty short which was the only saving grace about it, and hopefully this is just a one night debacle with both of them having much better matches in the near future.
We cut to the back to celebrate John Silver’s birthday and it turns out that Tony Khan has gifted Silver a TNT title shot for his birthday, but since his shoulder is still bad he’s re-gifting it to Evil Uno! That should be fun, right?
We then IMMEDIATELY cut to Miro who is bewildered that Evil Uno will DARE to step in the ring with Miro! Look at his body and all the talent stored in those beautiful muscles! How can a dude in a creeper mask hope to stand a chance against THE BEST MAN at AEW!? I’m not entire sure, but I can’t wait to see him try!
Dustin Rhodes Vs. Nick Comoroto – Bull Rope Match
Comoroto is accompanied to the ring by Aaron Solow
I’ll be honest, I had COMPLETELY forgotten that this was on tonight’s card and spent the whole episode struggling to figure out what the main event would be if it wasn’t the Bucks match. Still, Dustin is one of my favorite part time guys at the company and the few matches he comes out for are usually fun! Now in case you didn’t know, a bull rope match is another variation on the rope/dog collar match where both men are tethered together in a no DQ match where you win by pinfall or submission in the ring. In this, they are using a very thick rope that also has a metal bell in the middle of it. Dustin comes in first with the rope and the crowd is happy to see him, but as soon as Nick Comoroto comes through the entranceway the fight is on as both start brawling before the bell rings and even before the rope is on Comoroto. Comoroto manages to lift Dustin with a Military Press and just tosses him over the ropes to the opposite corner of the ring which FINALLY gives the ref time to attach the rope to Comoroto and start the match. Almost immediately they take the fight to outside the ring and a lot of shenanigans ensue with the crowd; including one point where Fuego Del Sol (who I THINK is signed to AEW?) jumps on Comoroto’s back and is immediately tossed off. This momentary distraction allows Dustin to toss Comoroto back over the barricade and they do this REALLY interesting camera angle here. We stay tight on Comoroto who is struggling to get back up, but they perfectly time it so that when Comoroto looks over to see what Dustin is doing, the camera moves as well just in time to see him drop Aaron Solow with what I BELIEVE was a Power Slam before focusing back on Comoroto. It’s a very cinematic angle that you don’t often see in wrestling and gave this match a little bit of flair to separate it from pretty much everything else on the show. The fighting eventually returns to the ring where they both trade nearfalls and beat each other with the rope until they eventually start fighting on the apron while Solow is setting up a table next to them. Comoroto is knocked to the floor and Dustin tries to kick him from the apron, but Comoroto dodges and grabs him into a Powerbomb; putting Dustin through the table! It only gets a two count for Comoroto but that probably has more to do with him needing to pick Dustin back up, drag him to the ring, and THEN go for the pin. Even so, Comoroto and Solow are not happy about this and so Solow starts to remove the top turnbuckle from one of the corners when out of nowhere Colton Gunn yanks him off and brawls with him to the back. Comoroto is left to fight Dustin on his own who has gotten his second wind and throws out a FLURRY of big offensive moves… only to get a ONE count from Comoroto! This guy is going to be hard to take down, so what does Dustin do? NUT SHOT! Dude just kicks him right in the groin which seems to have sapped a lot of his stamina and so Dustin hits with a few elbows before sending him into the exposed turnbuckle and then hitting him with the bell for good measure. Oh it doesn’t stop there though! Dustin gets up on the middle rope and gives him a… I guess you’d call it a FLYING BULLDOG, which is enough to keep Comoroto down and for Dustin to get the pin. As much as I like Dustin and as good as this match was compared to pretty much everything else on the show, I don’t think he should have won. Comoroto probably should have gone over Dustin as The Factory isn’t looking too hot after Ogogo’s loss at the PPV and QT’s lousy win tonight, so giving Comoroto something here would have been my decision. However, the fact is that Dustin is a big star to these fans and on a show like this it was probably worth giving them something to cheer about as the episode comes to a close with Dustin celebrating and even going into the crowd to join in their revelry!
Gotta say, it may have started strong and ended strong, but this was a pretty bad episode of Dynamite. I wouldn’t exactly say a train wreck because nothing was egregiously bad or will derail future storylines, but almost everything here was a disappointment. Just a lot of sloppy wrestling and trite angles as next to no one was on the same page and nothing got me particularly excited for the future even though there are some great matches on the horizon. Jungle Boy and Omega are going to have a FANTASTIC match when we get to it, and I can’t wait to see what Evil Uno does against Miro, but as a follow up to Double or Nothing it feels like we’re mostly jogging in place. I will give them the benefit of the doubt that having last Friday’s show AND the PPV so close to each other probably left things a bit depleted for this and, I honestly think you can just skip this episode entirely as it feels like a glorified Dark episode. Nothing of PARTICULAR significance happened and the few thing that did like the signing of Andrade El Idolo will surely be covered again next week; especially if he’s going to have a match which should definitely be on the table as AEW is REALLY gonna have to step it up next week to make up for what went wrong here.