AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with another week of AEW action and I think I’m finally getting back into the swing of things with the very relaxing week away from wrestling followed by the lurch of three episodes of the darn thing back to back to back! We’re only a few weeks away from Full Gear and the card is starting to get stacked, but can they put this PPV over the finish line with only a few episodes left to go? Let’s find out!!
Kenny Omega Vs. Alan Angels
Omega is accompanied to the ring by Michael Nakazawa
I mean hey, Omega and Angels DID have a great match back before the Heel turn, so starting the show with a rematch sounds like a good idea to me; especially since Full Gear is less than two full weeks away and Omega is fighting in the main event! Angels hits a Dropkick the moment the bell rings and tries to overwhelm Omega as quickly as possible, but he only gets a few shots in the corner before Kenny kicks him away and is in control of the match. Omega gets the heat for a bit as Angels is putty in his hands, but instead of this being a quick squash match Angels proves to be competitive as he fights off a lot of Omega’s big moves like the Snap Dragon, and he even dodges a V-Trigger which causes Kenny to bounce off the ropes like a cartoon character and leads to a rollup two count for Angels. The comeback from Angels doesn’t stop there as he moves to the apron and dodges another charge from Kenny who goes tumbling to the outside, and he follows up with a Suicide Dive. He gets some solid offense in on the outside, throws Omega back in, and lands a Diving Cross Body for yet another near fall. Angels makes his biggest mistake here as he goes back up top to land a Frog Splash which Kenny gest the knees up for, and Kenny is back in control of this match. He doesn’t lose the advantage again for the rest of the match, but he does have a surprisingly hard time finishing off Angels. A Buckle Bomb and Sit Out Powerbomb combo only gets a two count, a One Winged Angel attempt is reversed into a rollup, and even when he lands the V-Trigger, he doesn’t get the win because he did a half-hearted pin attempt. It’s not until he follows up with two more V-Triggers and gives him a SERIOUS pin that he finally keeps him down for the three count and wins the match. Omega is upset about this and has Nakazawa get him a chair so he can put Angels through it with a One Winged Angel. Since The Dark Order didn’t accompany him to the ring and since the ref CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO STOP THIS, Hangman Adam Page comes to the rescue and takes out Nakazawa on his way down to the ring. Omega threatens Hangman with the chair, but Alan Angels wrestles it out of his grasp and Hangman goes for the Buckshot Lariat. Omega dodges and scampers up the ring while Hangman cuts a promo about how he’s gonna win at Full Gear. When Omega first faced Alan Angels, there was some backlash because it was this guy out of nowhere hanging with a superstar like Kenny, and some felt it was dragging Omega down. I didn’t agree in the slightest back then but PERHAPS there’s a tiny bit of merit to it here as I don’t think this is the time to give Kenny a tough match. He’s weeks away from a PPV match against Hangman which is the blow-off to a years’ long feud, and to me that should feel as BIG and EPIC as possible. Instead, Kenny has felt like a bit of a joke the last few weeks as the new guys like Danielson are already putting into question his status as the best wrestler at AEW. I mean look, MJF also has a match on the PPV and HE didn’t have a drag-out match with whatever his name was a week ago! Perhaps AEW has some plans for Angels or they just feel that you can’t open the show with a squash match, and while I will concede that the action itself was VERY good for both guys, I still don’t think this is exactly what Kenny needed at this specific moment in time.
CM Punk comes out and addresses the elephant in the room which is that Jon Moxley is not here at AEW and probably won’t be for a while. He doesn’t say why exactly, but we all know that he’s gone into rehab for his problem with alcohol. All the best to him and his family as this is not a problem to take lightly, and CM Punk knows the self-destructive drive that can fester in this industry which is why it was so brave of Moxley to step away. From there he transitions to the feud bubbling up between him and Eddie Kingston which HE sees as completely inexplicable! Punk didn’t DO anything to Kingston, but I guess Kingston is just the kind of guy who lives with a chip on his shoulder, so Punk is gonna see if Kingston has the guts to give him an apology or if he’s gonna keep raging against him. We’ll find out Friday for sure, but something tells me that Kingston isn’t gonna deny us a chance to see these two lock it up in the ring!
With Moxley away for a while, it left a pretty sizable spot in the AEW Title Eliminator Tournament, and we learn that Miro is going to fill his spot via a VERY good promo where he questions if God gave him the grace he’d been looking for or is simply mocking his forsaken champion? ONLY when Miro wins the tournament and is back on top will he forgive his Maker for what he has done, and he will DESTROY anyone on his way to reclaiming his glory! I thought the Redeemer stuff was getting a bit old hokey when he was champion, but this Forsaken gimmick is pretty great and Miro is doing a FANTASTIC job with it! We’ll see how he does in the tournament, but after these promos, I kinda want to see him make it to the finals just to see him get his hopes up before having his SOUL CRUSHED!
Alex Marvez is interviewing the Super Clique in the back which you KNOW can’t be a good thing since Marvez is the Loki variant of our universe, and sure enough, disaster strikes almost as soon as the segment starts. The Super Clique start by calling their loss on the last episode of Dynamite a total fluke and how they’re gonna SHOW YOU ALL how tough they are… which is when Marvez uses his magnificent Loki powers to summon Luchasaurus and a returning Christian Cage who surround the Clique and stare at them menacingly. A brawl breaks out that makes its way to the ring area, and the Baby Faces are ultimately overwhelmed by the Super Clique. That is until Jungle Boy comes flying off the stage and wiping out all three of them in one go! With the odds evened up a bit, Cage spears Matt Jackson on the stage and goes for the Kill Switch, but Nick Jackson lands a Super Kick to break it up. This victory is short-lived however as Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy overwhelm The Bucks before putting Adam Cole in the Snare Trap that knocks him out cold. To put the cherry on top of this violent sundae, Cage puts Cole’s head on a chair and then SLAMS his head with another chair; basically making a chair sandwich with Cole’s brains as the filling! It was fine as far as a brawl but this feud hasn’t felt RED HOT since there’s not much of an end goal or anything particularly important at stake here, and frankly, the Faces were a bit heelish here; especially with that final spot on Cole. I’m sure this is all leading to a match at Full Gear which will no doubt be good, but I’m hoping that they use the time between now and then to add something to the match to give it some much-needed weight.
FTR Vs. Samuray Del Sol & Aero Star – AAA Tag Team Title Match
FTR are accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard
WWE’s most recent round of releases was announced after this episode aired, but once again the BIGGEST WRESTLING COMPANY IN THE WORLD end up looking like utter fools as one of their recently released wrestlers (Samuray is the former Kalisto who was let go in April) puts on a great match on the competition right when they released the REST of Lucha House Party. The Luchadores get an early lead which had me worried for a bit that this was going to be another match where they made the champs look underwhelming, but Dax’s superior power eventually puts him ahead as he starts to get the advantage on Aero Star. Still, you don’t want to underestimate high flyers as he and Samuray toss FTR out of the ring and land dives before Samuray leads the crowd in a chant of LU-CHA! FTR stumble their way back to the ring and Aero Star tries to take them BOTH out with a Double Hurricanrana, but FTR manage to catch him mid-move and drop him on the ropes to start the heat. Aero Star eventually fights his way out of a Tree of Woe and dives at Dax Harwood on the outside before diving at Cash Wheeler on the inside (hey, it’s a Lucha match so you should expect that kind of theatricality), and he makes it to the corner to get the hot tag to Samuray who fights them both off with a flurry of kicks. Aero Star goes for the Double Hurricanrana again, but FTR catch him once again and get him up in the Powerbomb position. This time however, Samuray lands a Springboard Drop Kick on Aero’s back which gives him enough forward momentum to drop FTR and the two follow it up with Hurricanranas for dual pints that give the Luchadores a two count. We then have Aero Star flip Dax over the ropes while Samuray and Cash duke it out in the ring and I honestly couldn’t even tell you half the things they do in this SUPER cool bout of Luchador action! This fantastic exchange ends with Cash on his back and a Springboard Splash from Aero Star that would have won them the match if Dax hadn’t yanked Aero out of the ring. Samuray tries to follow, but Cash throws him into the barricade and lands a Brain Buster on the floor which leaves Cash and Aero in the ring alone. The two start to trade rollups and Cash eventually manages to keep Aero down for the three count by grabbing onto the rope; winning the match and retaining their AAA titles. The ending was a bit of a squib, but FTR are cheating wet blankets so it makes sense that they won that way, and it was still a VERY cool match! The Luchadores looked AMAZING here and kept the match competitive but in a way that kept FTR looking good and gives them a clear avenue for victory against The Lucha Bros at Full Gear. I REALLY hope this isn’t the last time we see the former Calisto on this show; if for no other reason than for him to do that LU-CHA chant! I ALWAYS loved it when Lucha House Party did that!
The Inner Circle and American Top Team – Who Will Fight at Full Gear!?
Because Sammy successfully defended his title against Ethan Page, The Inner Circle got their match against Men of the Year and whatever three members of American Top Team they wish to face. It’s time for Lambert and his crew to pay the piper, so they come out after The Inner Circle finishes their entrance to Judas, and “eagerly await” whatever decision The Inner Circle makes. Of course, it’s not going to be that easy as Jericho baits Lambert with insults as soon as he sees him and the twerp takes it hook, line, and sinker to the delight of the crowd who start saying chants they PROBABLY shouldn’t be saying on TV. Now that that silliness is out of the way, it’s time for The Inner Circle to make their picks! First is Junior dos Santos which makes sense since they already faced him in the ring and he did just fine for what he needed to do. Second is Andrei Arlovski and I guess the decision here was to build some beef between him and Hager, but as far as I can tell he hasn’t wrestled before so far so he’s kind of a question mark. Before they make their third choice, Paige VanZant grabs the mic and BEGS them to choose her so she can kick their butts, and she trades barbs for a bit with The Inner Circle before making their final choice which is… DAN LAMBERT! I don’t know if I should get brownie points for calling it, but let it be known that I DID in fact make this call last week and Lambert does not disappoint in his reaction. The dude jumps up and down on the ramp and starts screaming like a child about how unfair this all is and that they shouldn’t be allowed to pick him, but Jericho has signed the open contract and I guess that’s all there is to it! It was a pretty good segment and since we’re ACTUALLY moving towards something, it’s probably one of the better Lambert segments as he’s always good on the mic but so many of his promos leading up to this feud just kind of meandered as they tried to find something to do. Whether the match will be good is anyone’s guess as we have at least two non-wrestlers in there, but for me, that just makes it all the more exciting to see!
Jamie Hayter Vs. Anna Jay – TBS Title Tournament Match
Hayter is accompanied to the ring by Britt Baker and Rebel (Not Reba)
There’s not a whole lot to this match so we’ll just hit the highlights. Jamie gets a boot to the head which starts the heat (as well as the commercial break in the first two minutes of the match), and when we come back Anna manages to get in some decent offense including a DDT for a two count. She tries to lock in the Queen Slayer on Hayter who does her best to fight out of it, but she’s eventually saved by a distraction from both Rebel and Baker. This allows Hayter to hit a Lariat which I GUESS is her finisher, and she gets the pin to win the match and advance in the tournament. It wasn’t very exciting to watch but they at least knew not to spend a lot of time on it, and the ACTUAL drama happened afterward when the three Heels started stomping on Anna Jay after the match had ended. Tay runs out once again as she did the last time Anna lost against these three, and she does manage to clean house pretty effectively. Instead of leaving while she was ahead however, she starts pounding on Baker which allows Rebel and Hayter to overwhelm her. Baker puts down the belt and threatens to stomp Tay’s face into it, but Thunder Rosa comes down to make the save and chase everyone out. Rosa and Hayter will meet in the semi-finals of the tournament which will hopefully be a much more interesting match than what we got here.
The MJF/Darby feud got some momentum with the brawl last week and AEW is hoping to keep it going by having MJF come out here to talk directly to Darby who is watching the show from the cheap seats. Once again MJF is good at what he does and he starts by praising himself and Darby as the two pillars of the AEW brand. What he can’t figure out though is why the crowd boos him and cheers Darby despite being half the reason that AEW is standing as tall as it is today… but he might have come up with a theory! Perhaps it’s because MJF is better than them, and they resent it. Darby on the other hand is a misfit loser like the AEW audience and he will LOSE at Full Gear because MJF is better than him, and he knows it! We’ve heard promos like this before from MJF but he’s still got great delivery, and Darby Allin has a mic of his own and says that HE will be the one to win at Full Gear; not because he’s a misfit and a daredevil, but because he’s a better wrestler! Tonight though? Yeah, its full-on Misfit Daredevil Time as Darby goes down to confront MJF who tells him to shove it and walks out of the ring. Sting comes out of the tunnel with an army of… minions I guess, to cut him off, but The Pinnacle come out to attack the Sting Army. MJF tries to slip through the crowd amidst all this chaos but ends up face to face with Darby and the two brawl for a bit with Darby getting the upper hand. He then puts MJF against the barricade, gets a GIGANTIC lead, and runs for a solid ten seconds to build up momentum so that when he hits MJF the two of them go tumbling over with the impact of a car crash! Darby drags MJF to the ring and gets on the turnbuckle for the Coffin Drop, but MJF runs out and finally makes his escape through the crowd, though he can’t run forever as their match at Full Gear is approaching fast! It was good stuff I guess, but I’m still rather lukewarm on the feud and I’m hoping that the match itself will be where it all comes together.
Andrade El Idolo Vs. Cody Rhodes
Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson
It’s pretty impressive how well Cody has recovered from being booed out of the building only a few weeks ago, and his third match with Malakai Black definitely set him up for a solid run of big matches; the least of which being this fight against Andrade. They both know how good they are so the first few minutes are spent toying with one another, but things start heating up when Cody kicks Andrade out of the air and IMMEDIATELY pays for it when he gets up to the top turnbuckle and is shoved off; sending him tumbling to the floor and starting Andrade’s heat segment. Andrade gets some good offense in outside the ring before tossing Cody in and going for a Running Knee Strike, but Cody ducks, and the dude just goes TUMBLING over the rope and lands on the floor below! FROM A RUNNING KNEE! Let that be a lesson to you; don’t get more air than you need to for a move or else you could go SAILING RIGHT OVER YOUR OPPONENT! The two start trading moves back and for the getting near falls that culminates with Andrade landing the Three Amigos; the third of which sends Cody into the turnbuckle. He goes for the Double Knees in the corner which he LANDS This time instead of flying into the crowd, and he goes up top to try a Split Legged Moonsault. Cody rolls out of the way and starts landing those Dusty Punches followed by Bionic Elbow, but Andrade fights back with a High Boot and locks Cody into the Figure Four Leg Lock. A bold but foolish move as this is one of Cody’s mainstays and he manages to flip the Figure Four so now Andrade is the one in dire straits. He makes it to the ropes to break up the hold and rolls to the floor while Andrade’s assistant Jose distracts Cody on the apron. Arn dispatches him rather quickly and Cody goes for the Suicide Dive on Andrade… BUT OUT OF NOWHERE, FTR BASH CODY WITH THE AAA BELTS AND THEN ROLL BACK UNDER THE RING! Well THAT was unexpected, but it was certainly enough to turn the tide of this match as Andrade throws Cody back into the ring and lands the El Idolo to get the pin and win the match. Frankly, this wasn’t as good as Andrade’s matches with Pac and I don’t think it was as good as Cody’s matches with Black, but it was some solid work from the two of them and wasn’t bad by any stretch. I didn’t like the ending all that much as Andrade really should be booked as strong as possible and having FTR save him like this feels like it undercuts his credibility somewhat, but Andrade is a star and he’ll no doubt prove himself in many more matches. FTR hold Cody up after the match so that Andrade can land a Running Kick to his face, and then the two of them start laying in shots on the ground. Arn Anderson gets in the ring to yell at Tully for being a part of this unsportsmanlike show and the two are about to fight, but thankfully The Lucha Bros run down to even the odds and the Heels run off. This almost certainly means a Trios match in the near future, but I’ll take it as long as it means Andrade is finally gonna be in the same ring as the Lucha Bros.
Orange Cassidy Vs. Miro – AEW World Title Tournament Semi-Final
Bryan Danielson joins on commentary for this match
Cassidy was supposed to go up against Jon Moxley, so that fact along with Cassidy’s ribs still being taped up are pretty good signs that Cassidy isn’t gonna walk away the winner here. It starts off well enough as Cassidy runs around the ring and keeps dodging Miro’s charges, but the tide DEFINITELY turns when Miro catches him a Suicide Dive and gives him a Suplex on the floor. This starts the heat segment where Miro systematically destroys Orange Cassidy and even rips off his taping which seems like one of those things I’d call a disqualification over, but Cassidy bucks up and gets a brief hope spot with some big moves and a Swinging DDT that gets him a two count. He signals for the Orange Punch, but his back is still hurting him and he can’t get the momentum he needs to land the move as Miro sees him coming a mile away and bails to the outside of the ring. Cassidy THEN makes the ludicrous decision to land a Diving Cross Body from the top rope to the floor and it sends the both of them through a table. Cassidy gets back to the ring and hopes that the ten count will save him, but Miro makes it back in ten. Cassidy is undeterred however as he manages to land a Beach Break on Miro for another two count, and sets up once again for the Orange Punch. He jumps in the air and is coming down with the punch, but Miro just bowls right over him and the Cassidy does a flip in the air before landing on his bad back. Miro then locks in the Game Over which Cassidy is forced to tap to immediately; giving Miro the win and advancing him to the finals of the AEW World Title Tournament. The episode ends with fellow finalist Danielson going down to the ring to shake Miro’s hand, but instead gets nothing but ice as Miro blows him off!
This was a decent episode with some good action, but I don’t think it was everything it could be. The Kenny Omega match didn’t feel right for how close we are to the PPV, the Andrade match didn’t live up to some of his other recent matches, and the women’s match was just there which is a shame considering how good the match we got last week was between Deeb and Shida. Still, we had the VERY fun segment between the Inner Circle and American Top Team as well as the FANTASTIC AAA Tag Title Match, so I’m not about to throw this episode under the bus. If NEXT week’s Dynamite isn’t better than this one though, especially with it being the Go Home episode, maybe then I’ll start to feel a bit testy!