Arena: Kia Forum
City: Los Angeles, CA
Last Week’s Rating: 864,000 overall; 0.26 in 18-49 demo
That 18-49 is the joint-lowest since Jan 6th last year.
Perhaps this loaded show can correct that.
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Jon Moxley vs Hangman Page
Backstory: Moxley ko’d Page in October, Page couldn’t even remember his son’s name afterward but vowed that Mox will remember everything he does to him tonight
Right to the action, Mox’s theme rang out as he stomped his way through 8,000. Let’s hope they live up to last week’s fans.
There was no posing from the Hangman, he too stomping straight down to the ring for his first match in 85 days.
Straight to sluggin, the crowd roaring along, Mox fired Page into the corner, immediately to a clothesline, Page fired back, flinging Mox across the ring, big boot in the corner, unloading until Mox slumped down, ‘Cowboy s***!’, stiff chops as the two came together again in the middle.
Flurry from Hangman, irish whip, Page telegraphed a back body drop: Mox flung him to the mat head-first then acted innocent. A ‘Moxley’ chant as he backed Page to the corner, choked him with the boot, took him atop the buckle, back-rake and a bite, superplex, Page again holding his head but kicked out at barely one.
Right into a juijigitame, Hangman trying to block the grip, rolling to his knees but kicked in the face then German’d right onto the back of his head.
Then another set-up; Page fought him off then hit a suplex/throw before heading to the apron. Mox was ready, bashing the former champ off into the barricade.
Hangman fired back with a spinning lariat, absolutely dropping Mox, the crowd roaring him on, Moxley exploded with a KKL to down Page and bag a couple covers as we unfortunately cut to our first break.
This is a fight.
Returning to Moxley grinding Page’s face into the mat, the latter crawled to his knees, still in a choke. Before fighting his way out via belly to back suplex then hitting another huge lariat to leave both down as the ref began his count.
Up at six, they faced off once more, stiff elbow strikes – yay/boo, ‘c’mon Mox!’ beckoned Page. Mox took the bait, accelerating into a fallaway slam, Page struggling to kip up, Mox struggling in the corner, the crowd clapping. Another clothesline in the corner from Page, Mox avoided the next; Hangman landed on his feet out of a German, left-hand lariat, big boot knocking Mox outside, Ourihara, both hurting as a ‘Holy S’ chant kicked up in amongst ‘This is awesome!’.
Buckshot set-up: duck, counter, Death Rider, Page kicked out!
Right into h&a elbows, into the Bulldog choke, Hangman struggling, back up into h&a, back down into the choke. Page finally back to his feet, still in the hold, dragged into a piledriver, spiked right on his head but kicking out with authority at barely one.
Then waited for Page to climb back to his knees, striking the chest with kicks Danielson-style. Pausing to flip-off a crowd loudly chanting ‘Cowboy S***’. Allowing Page to counter: Deadeye setup, Mox slipped behind into a sleeper to boos from the crowd, looking for another piledriver, Page countered back to hit Deadeye; Mox popped-up first to hit a curb stomp before collapsing.
The ref started the count once more.
All the way to seven with both just about on their knees, fighting their way back up with more stiff elbows until Mox went to the headbutt, dropping Page who came back with one of his own. Then stiff open-hand slaps, flurry of punches, crowd roaring, huge rebound lariat from Page, Buckshot ready, hit, 1,2,3.
Wow! What a match. If there’s a better one tonight then good God what a show this’ll be!
Moxley does not lose often. This was just his third loss in AEW since July 2021. But it was absolutely the right result for Page who’s been in the wilderness since losing the world title.
It also perfectly sets up a decider. Perhaps at the ppv? Yes, please!
Post-match, Moxley struggled in the corner, the doctor in to check on him. Essentially the reverse of what happened last time.
We returned to a serious-looking Excalibur and Taz talking about Mox being helped backstage. Perhaps this is setting up the break he was supposed to get in September?
WINNER: Hangman Adam Page
Weirdly, considering the link with concussions, Adam Cole was out next! Schiavone said he took no pleasure in welcoming his next guest, leading you to think it was Mr. Friedman. Huge response for Cole.
He’s been thinking all day about what he’s going to say. It’s a good news/bad news situation. The good is that after what happened he has a whole new appreciation for his life. Since he was nine he wanted to be a wrestler and now he’s in the best company in the world.
The past few months he was ‘really, really banged up’ with a shoulder injury and two serious concussions. He described vividly what happened to him. Did not sound fun at all. He couldn’t sleep, he even referenced ‘Britt’ getting up to check on him and him crying.
And none of the fans knew what was happening but so many were there for him anyway. He saw the supportive messages. Struggling to hold it together, he said those ‘mean the world’ to him.
He’s given the fans nothing for six months but they were still there for him. He’s eternally grateful. The fans chanted his name.
‘Now for the bad news’.
‘The bad news, it’s not for me, its for the AEW locker room because Adam Cole is back!’ Huge cheer. He thought he was finished but ‘no way, I ain’t done yet!’ He will not stop until he’s the very best.
He wants everyone to remember this day. When the new Adam Cole was born. Who promises that one day he’ll be at the top of the mountain. He set it up so that he dropped the mic as the fans chanted ‘Bay bay!’.
Hell of a promo. Full of passion, raw honesty and charisma. So glad they didn’t do a stupid swerve. AEW generally are good with stuff like that.
Though they might want to wait a while before using that ‘The bad news is I’m back!’ line again since it’s the same one Saraya used.
Cut to the Acclaimed. On Friday they’re gonna be among stars, literally, because they’re getting a star on the Walk of Fame.
Jungle Boy & Hook (JungleHook) vs Lee Moriarty and Big Bill
Backstory: Hook saved Jungle Boy from a whoopin’ at the hands of the Firm
That team name almost killed my entire interest in this match.
The heels came out to Moriarty’s music. Nothing they’ve done so far suggests Big Bill is, was or will be a priority and this continues in that vein.
The faces exchanged a brief fist bump before JB and Moriarty got us started. With a lockup. Moriarty sneaking in a stiff chop to the chest, the two exchanged a couple more before Jungle Boy hit his springboard arm-drag then tagged in Hook.
For a double-team elbow to the face, after which Hook went after the arm before quickly tagging back out: bodyslam/elbow drop combination as the good guys were working well together.
Until Stokely grabbed the leg. Jungle Boy tried to tope him but was caught by Big Bill. Hook prevented another chokeslam onto the apron but allowed Moriarty to hit an enziguri as he got back in the ring. Tag to the big guy.
Who mocked Jungle Boy’s wave then missed a splash in the corner but did not miss a big boot.
Jungle Boy fought out of a submission via powerbomb then began the crawl as the crowd chanted for Hook. Who blasted Moriarty with a stiff lariat which might have bettered all those in the previous match, then hit a northern lights but Bill broke up the cover.
Annoying the youngster who went face to chest with the big guy then HURLED him via T-Bone suplex after a sequence which seemed to go slightly awry but the crowd certainly didn’t care, going nuts for the suplex.
Bill bailed outside. JB got the Snare Trap for the tap on Moriarty.
Hook held up his teammate’s arm to celebrate.
Very short factoring in the ad break. I’ve been very critical of them hiring the former Big Cass. Since it seems they had absolutely no idea what to do with him. But the way he was used here, to highlight an up-and-comer, was perfect.
(Side-note – they now have new ring apron and barricade banners to go with the new set and it does look a lot better than last week)
Renee backstage with DanHausen, Orange Cassidy and some dude named Paul Hauser who’d got a Golden Globe. Who asked if everything was cool with the Best Friends. Orange said it was as Trent looked uncomfortable. This was immeasurably lame and awkward. I have no idea who that dude is so maybe someone will tell me this was all worth it since he’s such a big star.
Renee, outside the Elite’s locker room, referenced the last time there was a Game Seven here: the Lakers and Pistons facing off in 1988.
Bryan Danielson vs Konosuke Takeshita / MJF Promo
Backstory: Danielson has to win every match until the ppv to get his shot @ MJF
There’s a damn good chance this’ll be the match of the night, despite the build and star-power present in others.
‘He is not supposed to wrestle this idiot, I’ll tell you that,’ noted Schiavone as MJF’s music hit with Takeshita in the ring. Tony’s great.
MJF did his usual, ‘you’re not very bright, Daddy’s holding the mic’ to the crowd before very patronizingly talking-up Takeshita. Then making the very obvious ‘Take-a-shit-a’ joke.
The Japanese responded in Japanese. The crowd cheered anyway. Max said that ‘round here we speak American’. Takeshita confirmed that ‘I said, ‘Kiss my ass’!’ MJF got pretty hot, ordering Aubrey to remove him from the ring or he’d be fined.
He took a long time to say that the fans liked Danielson because they too are irrelevant. He then heeled on a dude in the crowd from the Hangover. Then Freddie Prinze Jr. Have to be careful here, might turn himself.
He then reiterated that there’ll be no iron man match, he’ll make sure of it. Before he could finish his line, which the crowd were chanting along with, Danielson’s music hit, he sprinted to the ring; MJF sprinted from it.
This was a thirty second promo dragged out to five minutes.
MATCH STARTS HERE
Starting FAST, the two ducked and dodged until a Blue Thunder Bomb was countered and we re-set. The crowd applauded.
To a headlock, Takeshita then got wrist control, Danielson bridged his way up and out, into a drop toehold, then the Romero Special, then a dragon sleeper. Takeshita slipped out into one of his own, brought Danielson up then fired-in elbow strikes, dropping the vet, who popped back up to respond with chops.
Takeshita came back with more chops. (After a fast start, this has really slowed down, so presumably it’s going a while.)
Until it finally kicked up a gear via Takeshita’s diving clothesline off the ropes. Then slowed once more: double underhook suplex from Danielson into a short-arm scissor. He then went for the LeBell Lock, Takeshita used his long legs to get the ropes.
And was then backed into the corner, stiff kicks being followed by a pair of running dropkicks but he was ready on the third with a fantastic Blue Thunder Bomb for two. ‘Takeshita’ chant from the crowd.
On his knees, Danielson was pelted with more chops, the last dropping him to his back, his chest beginning to bleed as we went to break.
We returned just in time for Takeshita’s clothesline from atop the buckle, though it looked like he didn’t quite catch it full-y. MJF was shown watching backstage as Danielson countered a powerbomb into a hurracanrana, sending both outside. Danielson then launched off the apron, hurting his knee, and was then dropped via brainbuster on the mats at ringside.
Takeshita launched a springboard senton, Danielson got the knees up, right into the LeBell Lock, right in the middle. Again, the youngster’s legs bagged him the escape. Takeshita very over with the fans here in LA. Who’ve been great so far.
Yes! kicks until the last was caught – as it is every week – the two set to fighting, heavy shots to the temple until a discus lariat smashed through Danielson. Takeshita readied a knee-strike but was caught in h&a until dragging Danielson atop his shoulders. Danielson tried a victory roll; Takeshita muscled him back up into a kind-of Styles Clash then straight into a German. Hell of a sequence.
Then missed another jumping knee. Danielson hit the busaiku, Takeshita kicked out. Danielson shook his head in frustration as the crowd went wild. Then set to stomping the youngster’s head in. Like last week, his opponent was out cold before he’d even transitioned into the subsequent hold.
The vet made a point of helping the youngster up.
This was a little disappointing. Perhaps I was expecting too much. The last few minutes were excellent and I surely missed some things in the recap. But it was a little too slow for a little too long. A bit like Edge and A.J. at WrestleMania.
WINNER: Bryan Danielson
Renee backstage with Juice Robinson. Who called out Darby Allin for Friday for the TNT Title. Renee looked like she was going to crack when he shouted ‘Rock Hard’.
Jamie Hayter & Britt Baker vs Saraya and Toni Storm
Backstory: Challenge was made back in November, Saraya only picked her partner last week amid much speculation
In another incredibly smooth transition, we went from Juice to Toni Storm. Who was noticeably serious making her entrance.
Be interesting to see how Saraya does here with a few more months training under her belt and Jamie Hayter to work with. Who got easily the biggest reaction from the crowd. She and Britt in matching gear, looking like a proper team.
Smartly, Saraya did not start, Toni and Jamie Hayter continuing where they left off the last time either of the faces wrestled at November’s ppv. They dragged each other around in a lockup, neither willing to let go, until Hayter fired off chops, irish whip, Storm rebounded with a shotgun dropkick then knocked the champ off the apron with a hip attack.
Saraya tagged in and came off the apron with a cannonball then launched high knee-strikes before screaming it was her house. The fans booed. She then tripped the champ for a quick one count.
Working noticeably faster than last time.
Hayter hit her double suplex to counter both ‘faces’, who were booed when they got back on offense. Britt dropped Storm off the apron via neckbreaker as Hayter and Saraya brawled around ringside.
Just as Hikaru Shida made her way down the ramp with a kendo stick. The crowd chanted her name as the announcers speculated about who she’d go after. They cut to break amid the speculation. Smart.
We came back just in time for Britt and Saraya to get tags. Saraya was again booed. She hit a Knightcap for two then screamed again that it was her house.
Baker countered, looking for an air raid crash; Saraya slipped out, hit a knee to the face, then a running elbow in the corner before tagging Toni to hit a hip attack then a tornado ddt off the ropes for two.
Crowd the quietest they’ve been all night. Easily.
Isolating Toni in their corner, the heels set her atop the buckle, Hayter took out Saraya as Britt hit an air raid crash from the top. Nasty spill. Count of two.
The heels hit sandwich elbow strikes to the face then the Haytbreaker, the combo that got them the win on Friday. Saraya intercepted the pin. Storm avoided a lariat, hit a German, Storm Zero, Britt broke it up at two. Crowd silent here.
Hayter and Storm exchanged shots in the middle until dropping each other at the same time which did wake the crowd. Rebel took the ref, Shida threw in the kendo stick, Baker used it on Storm, allowing Hayter to bag the win via Hayter-ade.
Shida appeared to be shocked at what she’d done though she’d clearly thrown the stick near Baker.
This got very awkward when Saraya and Britt were in there together and, not surprisingly, Baker and Hayter were cheered after cutting a ‘homer’ babyface promo last week and Saraya coming-off heelish in how she chose her partner. The booking with both teams has been puzzling at best and mostly awful. Might help explain why it was pin-drop quiet for most of the match.
WINNER: Jamie Hayter & Britt Baker
They cut away from Excalibur in mid-sentence to show Eddie Kingston and Ortiz bickering ahead of Friday’s tag. Yaaay, teams who hate each other.
JAS out for a promo. They’ve had a big week – PWG, taking care of Action Andretti and ending the ‘Ricky Starks experiment’.
Starks’ music hit and he came out along with Andretti. LOUD ‘Ricky’ chant. They failed last week because he’s still standing. Jericho called Andretti an ‘orphan’ and told him to go back to the minor leagues.
Andretti used Jericho’s ‘shut the hell up’ line against him then threatened to shove the baseball bat up his ass. Garcia didn’t like that. Andretti called Guevara Garcia’s ‘babysitter’ then said Guevara couldn’t keep control over his own wife or where her hands go because last week they were between Andretti’s legs.
Garcia cut a heel promo while being annoyed when Sammy tried to hug him. Starks called 2.0 ‘JAShole 1 & 2’ as the crowd chanted ‘JAShole’. He then roared at Jericho to move aside then aimed his words at ‘Gilligan’ in the purple hat. Great line.
He then challenged Hager for a match they’d already announced. Excalibur tried to cover for the mistake.
‘I like this hat!’ Screamed Hager. But he wears a lot of them and one is an undefeated MMA fighter. Starks said next week he’ll be in the ring with someone who is ‘Ab-so-lute!’.
Nice to see the continued follow-up with Starks. Hopefully they do the same with Strickland on Rampage.
Death Triangle vs the Elite, Ladder Match, 7 of 7 for the Trios Titles
Backstory: It’s 3-3 in the best of 7 series, winner take all
Just hope no-one kills themselves here. They’ve not been given as much time as you might think. About ten minutes by the time they were all in the ring.
Crowd loud as Justin Roberts made the announcements. The usual mix of cheers and boos as the Elite’s music began. Omega was wearing the IWGP US title and they made reference to him beating Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom.
Only one belt needs to be pulled down to win. Though all three are hanging.
Loud ‘Cero Miedo’ chant as the six squared-up in the ring. Callus joined on comms.
Straight into a wild brawl, they split into three pairs, each pair taken out by the other until Matt and Penta were left. Kenny took out Penta, Fenix – Kenny, Nick Jackson hit a facebuster, Pac and Penta double-teamed Nick, Fenix off the top with a frog splash.
Crazy start. There’s no way I’ll be able to cover anywhere near all of this but I’ll do my best.
Fenix hit a tope, Nick followed suit through his brother’s legs as a brief ‘Elite’ chant started and stopped. Matt reversed a Fenix cazadora then headed up the ladder but was quickly cut off. He hit a destroyer on Penta but was pulled off the ladder by a Fenix springboard armdrag. Kenny pulled Fenix off into a snapdragon, then one for Penta.
Before readying the Terminator Dive until being cut off by a Pac shotgun dropkick. Omega fired back with a snapdragon. Back to the dive, he missed everything, crashing through a table at ringside; Matt came off the top to drive Pac through another as the break beckoned.
Both landings looked like they Sucked. Capital intended.
Penta readied a suplex onto a ladder on Matt but was back body dropped onto it instead. Fenix then hurracanrana’d Nick off the top onto the ladder.
Pac then trapped Kenny’s hands in the ladder, stomping away, then prepared to climb. Until Kenny dragged him off into a OWA. Pac poisonrana’d his way out, Matt ate a rebound German, Fear Factor, Fenix tornillo over the top to take out Nick.
Penta was dragged off the ladder by Matt who was doubled by he and Pac. They setup a ladder in the corner: double suplex ready on Nick until Matt flung superkicks to save his brother. Fenix in via springboard, Matt snatched him into locomotion northern lights, the last one on the propped-up ladder.
Nick off the top, 450 splash through Penta and a table at ringside.
Leaving Matt to make the climb, Fenix grabbed the boot, Matt kicked him away but Alex Abrahantes came in to push Matt off. Cutler in with coldspray, Kenny hit a V-Trigger to take out Alex. Then ready the ladder. Pac intercepted, back in with the hammer, attacking Kenny’s hand. Then dragging him outside where he hit a falcon arrow.
Leaving Pac all alone to climb; Matt met him at the top. The Lucha Brothers set-up another ladder underneath, forming a platform atop the ropes. Penta hit Fear Factor on it. Leaving Fenix to climb. Omega met him at the top where they fought into Omega hitting a OWA off the ladder. Kenny then got the knees up to block a Black Arrow – which always looks absolutely spectacular – the crowd going nuts as Omega climbed.
He finally bagged the middle title to take back the Trios belts.
This was completely mental. If you don’t like ‘spot-fests’ or want a really psychologically sound match, you should probably avoid this. Otherwise, it was crazy fun. In that regard, probably the best match in the series. If a little rushed. Not the first time AEW have run long.
Now it’s time to actually establish the division. There hasn’t been a single trios match which wasn’t for the titles since the tournament in August.
WINNER: the Elite
- Juice Robinson vs Darby Allin, TNT Title
- Acclaimed segment
- Anna Jay & Tay Melo vs Ruby Soho & Willow Nightingale, Street Fight
- Kings of the Black Throne vs Eddie Kingston & Ortiz
- Hager vs Starks
- Bryan Danielson vs Bandido
- More announced on Rampage
Before tonight began there was a good chance this would be the best ever Dynamite. And while I can’t say for sure that it was – mostly because I can’t remember them all – it was certainly up there.
The crowds have helped tremendously the past two weeks. Let’s hope they continue to go to new places with enthusiastic fans.
- Hangman Page vs Jon Moxley (easily the best match on the show, loved it)
- The Elite vs Death Triangle
Thanks for reading.