Arena: Indiana Farmers Coliseum
City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Last Week’s Rating: 880,000 overall; 0.32 in 18-49 demo
Kenny Omega threw a little more salt in the wound last week by tweeting Kenta re: using the GTS. As much fun as all that was in Chicago, let’s hope we can do what Omega claimed he wanted us to do in an interview and ‘move on’.
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
In no better mood than last week, Moxley made his way to the ring, a lively crowd belting out his theme tune. Very loud ‘Moxley’ chants as the former champ mentioned that he used to wrestle here ‘all the time’. Continuing, he noted that there are three constants in the world – death, taxes and Jeff J… Jon Moxley. No-one can out-work, wrestle, fight, bleed or sweat him. Since day one he’s been ‘at the top of the food chain’, the ring belongs to him. There isn’t a man within 100 miles who has the balls to tell him any different.
Cue a guitar twang as the Hangman hit the ramp, big pop.
Staring each other down, face to face, Mox asked if Page was sure he wanted to do this after what happened last time. ‘Oh I’m sorry, do you not remember last ti…’ – Unable to contain himself, Page threw physical jabs at Mox as the crowd ‘oooh’d’ at the verbal one. The two brawled wildly but were very quickly broken up by officials.
Thrice more they fought through the mass of bodies as the crowd chanted ‘let them fight!’.
Excalibur said he still didn’t think Page was cleared.
This was a great opening angle, creating a big, very logical feud which has the added benefit of giving Mox a legit reason to take his eye off MJF & Regal.
Dax vs Bryan Danielson
Backstory: Dax shot his shot in challenging BD on Rampage
This is awesome started before the match even did.
Beginning with JR’s favorite – fundamentals – the two worked around a lockup. Bridging up into a deathlock, Dax slipped out into a headlock, Danielson missed a roundhouse, reset.
Snatching a headlock once more, Dax then ran through Danielson with a shoulder block, Danielson thought LeBell Lock, Dax countered with a Sharpshooter, Danielson got the ropes. After BD took a cheap shot from the mat, Dax booted him, leading to Danielson taking a breather on the outside.
Great start. Snug and pacey.
Very hard chops from Dax in the corner. After an uppercut, the Dragon returned the favor. Dax got two two-counts with an O’Connor roll and a cross body off the middle buckle. Stiff kick to the face followed when Danielson telegraphed a back body drop but Dax then took a spill to the outside, selling the hip as he landed on the apron, then being hit with a tope as the ads arrived.
A sequence of suplexes – Germans to be exact – brought us back into the action. After a third, Dax thought about heading to the top but changed his mind, locking the waist once more, leading to a series of switches culminating in a piledriver for a long two-count. After deciding to head up top, Dax missed with a headbutt, BD bagged two with a magistral cradle and the action spilled outside.
Where Danielson threw a knee strike from the apron to the floor, then fired off chops of his own.
Back inside, BD went to the top, Dax met him there, setting up a superplex but being crotched as Danielson slipped underneath. Hammer and anvils with both still atop the buckle ended when Dax turned an avalanche belly to back into a cross body only for Danielson to counter the counter by rolling through into a cradle for another two.
Fighting up their feet via headbutt, Danielson ducked a lariat, threw a slap which Dax ignored, the two threw stiff lariats as they kept advancing toward one-another until Dax hit a short-arm, dropping the Dragon. Not for long though as he popped straight back up and the heavy, advancing lariats began again until both men collapsed and the ref began his count.
Up first, Danielson threw a kick but had his foot caught. The counters continued: Dax setup a slingshot powerbomb, Danielson reversed into a hurracanrana; before they landed, Dax had countered again into a roll-up for two. Again first to his feet, Danielson landed a kick to the head for dos.
Then began throwing yes! kicks. Dax caught the last, slipping behind again for a release-German, from which Danielson landed on his feet, launching into the busaiku knee, only to be snatched up into a slingshot Liger Bomb for very nearly three.
A few boos when Danielson kicked out.
Wasting no time, Dax went right for the Sharpshooter, Danielson again got the ropes.
Setting it up again, a series of roll-ups and counters got a bunch of twos until Danielson slipped through into the LeBell Lock, forcing the tap.
Phenomenal. Two great wrestlers who had counters for everything the other threw and even counters for those counters. Should also be a nice balance for the ‘flippy s***’ during the trios later on.
Danielson motioned for the crowd to show their approval for Dax, who feigned ignoring a handshake before accepting and throwing a hug into the bargain.
WINNER: Bryan Danielson
Schiavone backstage with Ricky Starks. Who’s entering himself in the Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royal next Wednesday. Because he’s coming for everything MJF has. Tonight, next week and at Winter is Coming, he’s going to prove ‘that I… am absolute.’ Short but good. Though he needs building very quickly to seem a credible threat.
Backstage, Hangman was being escorted out when Mox attacked. The two set to brawling once more – Page flung Mox into a garage door as they were quickly separated again. Both were then escorted out of the building.
Renee with the runts of the JAS litter, Claudio and Wheeler Yuta. They’d all agreed to no physicality. (Sigh. If you’re going to keep BSing me, at least be creative about it). Menard quickly intervened to yell that Claudio could be anything he wanted as a sports entertainer, maybe a Yodeler? While Parker suggested ‘A Swiss!?’. That was funny.
Renee shut them all up, asking Claudio a serious question about his title match, to which the Swiss was giving a serious response when Hager shouted about how much he liked his hat, throwing one to Claudio, who he knew to be a sports entertainer. ‘We could be a tag team…’
Castagnoli snapped about all the bickering and etc., storming off and flinging his chair, leaving Yuta and mostly Garcia to keep bickering until Garcia challenged the BCC duo to a tag next week. After getting my hopes up by saying he was bored of all this, Wheeler accepted the tag as long as Garcia put his Pure title on the line at the ROH ppv.
A very muddy, jumbled way to build the world title match that’s main-eventing your upcoming ppv.
Samoa Joe vs AR Fox, TNT Title
Footage aired of Fox looking good on Dark the past couple of weeks. At least he got a tribute video before he gets killed. Most people don’t get that luxury.
Indeed, ‘Joe’s gonna kill you’ was the soundtrack as we got going. Stiff jabs in the corner left the smaller man on his ass; stomps continued the assault as Joe sarcastically clapped the crowd in an attempt to get them to boo him.
Fox matrix’d under a clothesline, then hit an enziguri, sending Joe to ringside. Taking flight, Joe did his step away spot, looking extra pleased with himself, only for Fox to land on his feet and plant him with a pump kick.
Not that it lasted long – a leg trip and a senton splash brought the break.
(Fox badly needs new gear – those brown khaki-looking pants scream undercard).
A Bossman Slam dropped Fox for two as we came back. Excalibur interrupted to announce that Saraya will sit down with Renee on Rampage. Nice that they remembered she’s on the roster.
Fox hit a tornado ddt out of the corner, then a 450 for two. Chest red, bleeding from the mouth, he went back upstairs, Joe again stepped aside, hit a vicious running elbow strike (almost like a pounce) then the Muscle Buster for the ‘W’.
The crowd did get behind Fox but they certainly didn’t boo the champ.
Who got on the mic to welcome us to a ‘new and glorious era’, proclaiming himself the ‘King of Television’ – loud cheers. Wardlow appeared on the bigscreen to say he was ‘coming for what’s mine’. A smattering of ‘Ward-low’ chants from those in attendance.
WINNER: Samoa Joe
Another vignette of Will Hobbs’ background – from the streets of Oakland, CA. He’s going to make us all feel ‘the pain, the hurt, the happiness.’ Still don’t quite get these.
Then Technique by Taz – highlighting Hook defeating Lee Moriarty.
Regal came down to new music as the announcers reminded us that he’d appeared only after he knew Mox had been escorted from the building (Nice continuity and tying stories together – like it).
The Brit introduced MJF, who gave Regal a big hug and was heavily booed.
Explaining how they got together – MJF read the email referred to last week: Regal essentially told him he’d become ‘weak’ after being beaten up by the Firm (on which, if you missed it, Hathaway explained this week that they were supposed to be working with Punk – which at least partially explains why they’ve seemed so lost).
Regal’s email advised that MJF should grab the ‘brass ring’, not the diamond one. They then met several times behind closed doors and MJF admitted that Regal is a genius. He used the brass ring to scar Moxley with a reminder of the day he was ‘outsmarted by MJF’. (Erm, what? You wasted time by putting the ring down and risked losing by taking more time to apply brass knucks to remind Mox that you outsmarted him?)
Moving on to the Firm, Max said he ‘kind of’ respects them for attacking when he was weak. He then talked about ‘making change around here’ – the AEW title is in need of a makeover and reminds him off all the previous champs who aren’t on his level.
Throwing the old title to ringside, he then had Regal unveil a new belt which had a Burberry pattern, at least per Excalibur, it basically looked the same with a brown background.
Calling it the ‘Triple B’ – the Bigtime Burberry Belt – it was the best belt in the business because he was wearing it and no-one deserves to wear it except for him. An ‘Eddie’ chant kicked up after he called Kingston a ‘fake tough guy’, then called Starks the same, also a ‘fake star’, then called Bryan Danielson a ‘fake wrestler.’ Who was beyond help, even Regal’s.
As long as he’s here, no-ones going to take his spot, all the way until the ‘bidding war of 2024’ when he uses the belt to maximize his money. And he hopes ‘the right Khan foots the bill, and I ain’t talkin’ bout Tony,’ before referencing his ‘boy’ Saint Nick and ‘the Game, Trips’.
Then again, maybe a wrestling company won’t win the bidding war – ‘maybe Hollywood wins.’
‘We can only hope’, muttered Schiavone.
Referencing the fans cheering him, he said that’ll quickly turn to resentment because they’re fickle. During his reign, Triple B will be defended very rarely and he’ll wrestle very rarely because unlike others, he’s a special attraction who’ll make fans pay because they want to see him lose.
Then moved on to all the wrestlers whose reigns he’ll outdo – Hogan, JBL, Jeff Jarrett – including talking about Bruno Sammartino in his ‘sh****’ grave.
‘My reign of terror has just begun.’
‘One more thing…’ You could see it coming. After talking about how Regal was respected by the fans, he clocked him in the back of the head with his diamond ring. As Schiavone called him ‘Steve’. Groan.
MJF employs only top people – ‘when you’re one of them, send me your stuff.’ Nice reference to their previous promo battle, but this backfired – the crowd had been booing but liked this.
Bryan Danielson raced to the ring as the announcers talked about Regal’s past neck and brain injuries. They tried to portray this as a serious injury. No-one bought it – the crowd were restless rather than concerned – those in the front rows could be seen talking and checking their phones. To the degree they had to go to a tight camera shot.
Guess we’re supposed to feel sorry for a man who just turned on one of the guys he’s mentored over a decade plus?
Delivery was good because it always is but I didn’t think much of this. A bunch of insider stuff and a paper-thin reason for his union with Regal, which they’ve quickly ended in a vain attempt to keep MJF a heel. Moreover, when you go for really serious angles like this, they need to be believable, and this absolutely wasn’t.
We returned after the break to Danielson getting in an ambulance with Regal. Does that mean Shaq has to get out?
Ricky Starks vs Ari Daivari
Are you kidding? Starks just sat through MJF trash-talking him for fifteen minutes but comes out right after.
Before this started, Hathaway, Ethan Page and Matt Hardy came out. The other two told Hardy he had to help Page win the Diamond Ring next week. When Page said MJF would beat Starks, there were cheers.
Daivari tried to attack from behind, Starks hit a Spear and the Roshambeaux. Big win over the Rampage Main Eventer.
WINNER: Ricky Starks
Tony backstage with Britt & co. Baker again took center stage – referring to Saraya’s sit-down with Renee, they kind-of bullied Schiavone into a sit-down with Hayter.
Willow Nightingale vs Anna Jay
Silence for Jay’s entrance; Nightingale got her usual nice response.
A series of short-arm clotheslines were followed by a low splash for two as the crowd chanted Willow’s name. After missing a clothesline in the corner, Jay hit a kick to the back and a Blockbuster. Heel on top – ads await.
A slugfest in the middle brought us back – yay/boo – Willow landed a hip attack in the corner, then a lariat, a high boot was next, then a spinebuster for nearly three.
Anna hit Dangerous Jay – Nightingale kicked out, then locked in the Queenslayer – Nightingale fought out. Melo distracted her, Willow fought back and hit a big Dr. Bomb for the win.
As the heels remained in the ring, Ruby Soho’s music hit, she appeared behind Melo, who’d broken her nose – Anna apparently is completely stupid and had left her friend alone in the ring then was taken out by a single shot. Soho hit Destination Unknown on the ramp.
WINNER: Willow Nightingale
Footage aired of the House of Black’s return on Rampage. Schiavone was with QT and Orange Cassidy – they’d agreed to no physicality! – Cassidy as usual breezily agreed to QT’s challenge, a lumberjack match for the All-Atlantic Title.
Jade Cargill TBS Title Celebration
Cargill wasn’t far off naked – wearing a bikini ostensibly made out of dollar bills. She said she decides who’s in and out of the Baddies so wants to know why Leila and Red were still hanging with Kiera Hogan this past weekend.
No one’s on her level. ‘You stand me next to anybody backstage and I bet the regular consumer would say I’m the star.’ And after watching you wrestle?
She reiterated the point for several minutes before moving on to Bow Wow – who’s a ‘joke’. He just happened to pop up on the screen and seemingly still fancies her. Hard to take anything more away from this. And still no idea why they feel like involving Bow Wow helps either Jade or the company as a whole.
The weekly ‘squeeze the Acclaimed on the show’ segment saw them scissor amid an announcement that they’d appear on Rampage.
The Elite vs Death Triangle, Match 3 of 7, AEW Trios Titles
Backstory: Death Triangle lead 2-0 after twice using the hammer to gain victory
Like last week, there were boos as the Elite were silhouetted and their music began. Though plenty of cheers as they made their way to the ring.
Attacking as DT made their entrance, the Elite beat their opponents around the top of the ramp, including a Kintaro Crusher dropping Pac’s masked face right onto it. Omega really sold his hip afterward.
The Bucks then held Pac for a V-Trigger; the Brit countered with a superkick as the Lucha Bros came back into the picture just as we went to break.
Mixed response for the Bucks & Kenny so far. As per last week, some of the crowd boo them but quickly forget to once the action gets going.
Not yet in the ring as we returned, the Elite setup the ‘smoking’ powerbombs outside as the ref finally started the match. The Bucks powerbombed Pac and Rey onto the apron, Penta fought back with tilt-a-whirls, firing up himself and the crowd before proclaiming ‘Cero Miedo’, darting out the way of a Matt Jackson dropkick through the ropes, meaning it took out the ref instead.
Abrahantes immediately got the hammer out, handing it to Penta, who took out all of the Elite with a dive and was readying a literal hammer blow until Fenix tried to talk him out of it. An angry Penta snatched it back and was preparing to blast Kenny when Omega launched a V-Trigger which Penta avoided but Fenix took right to the face. Omega’s face sauggested he’d intended it for Penta.
Who was invited to a Superkick Party, followed by a Snapdragon, then a powerbomb right into another V-Trigger. The other DT members broke up the pin but were quickly thrown back outside, the Elite desperate to get a first win as they continued the attack on Oscuro.
Who then avoided a triple team in the corner, meaning the Bucks blasted Kenny with a double enziguri, all of DT then hit superkicks, before launching from the same ringpost, taking out all of the Elite and leaving Kenny to eat a Fear Factor and barely kick out at 2.9.
Nick hit a superkick to Pac but ate one from Fenix who ate one from Matt, another to Penta, double northern lights suplex after catching Rey coming off the top. Pac then blasted Matt with a boot to the face.
Leaving he and Kenny as the last men standing. Taking Omega quickly to the top, Kenny fought off a superplex but Pac dragged himself right back up, absorbing shots to the face, hitting a headbutt before launching a breathtaking avalanche falcon arrow for another close two as the final break beckoned.
A wilting Omega was fighting from his knees as we returned – he and Pac yo-yo ing back and forth as Kenny hit another V-Trigger, Pac responded with his rebound German, Omega came right back with a lariat which left both men laying after Kenny struck his head on the ropes.
Double tag to Nick and Rey, who zoomed athletically around the ring – Nick ducked the rebound kick, hit a superkick, Fenix kipped up, went for a cazadora, Nick countered into a cutter.
Tag to Matt, they setup the Meltzer Driver, Rey fought them off but succumbed to More Bang for Your Buck. Penta broke up the pin.
BTE Trigger ready, Pac and Penta broke it up, Kenny fought off both but was hit with a cutter by Rey. Fear Factor to Matt, just as in the previous match Fenix wiped out Kenny and Nick with a wild tope, leaving Matt out cold to be pinned by Pac but he kicked out at two.
Uppercut in the corner, brainbuster, another kickout. Pac headed topside for the Black Arrow as Fenix prevented Omega from helping; Matt got his knees up and quickly stacked the Brit to make the series 2-1.
Nice job of keeping things fresh by starting on the ramp. Didn’t like this as much as last week; neither am I anywhere close to tired of this series.
WINNER: the Elite
- Saraya interview with Renee
- Cole Karter vs Darby Allin
- Private Party vs Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett
- The Acclaimed appear
- QT Marshall vs Orange Cassidy, Lumberjack Match, All-Atlantic Title
- Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royal
- Wheeler Yuta & Claudio Castagnoli vs Daniel Garcia & Jake Hager
- Jamie Hayter interview with Schiavone
A crowd can make or break a show. And tonight’s was lively and into the product, making everything seem like a big deal. And to be fair, a lot of what happened was – two excellent matches, a fun Joe semi-squash and what could be a hell of a feud between Hangman and Mox.
That said, most of the rest of the show was either missable or bad.
- Bryan Danielson vs Dax Harwood
- The Elite vs Death Triangle
Thanks for reading.