Arena: DCU Center
City: Worcester, Mass.
Coming off a crazy, controversial week in wrestling with a strong-looking lineup… it’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Jon Moxley vs Rush, AEW Title
Jim Ross greeted us, along w/ Taz & Excalibur. Excalibur noted that Rush hasn’t been pinned in over a year as William Regal joined and stole my tagline!
A very hot crowd greeted both guys, Rush attacking as Mox came through the ropes, to heavy boos, stripping the champ of his shirt, dominating with quick-hitting offense in both corners. Rush then took things to the outside, biting the champ open and licking the blood from his hand. But he turned to play to the crowd and paid for it, Mox landing a suicide dive for his first offense of the match.
Finally settling back in the ring to the tune of ‘F*** ‘im up Moxley, f*** ‘im up’, they exchanged heavy palm-strikes to the chest until a snap-powerslam brought Rush a two with his first cover. Or maybe not, things spilled straight back outside, the challenger choking the champ with cables as the first break beckoned.
Fantastic action so far. Fast, intense, hot crowd.
Welcomed back by a Moxley superplex, both guys struggled to their feet, exchanging ‘yay’/’boo’ palm strikes, rapid fire duck-under Germans, until the champ nailed the king kong lariat, only for Rush to snap another German off.
Countering a charging Mox with a belly-to-belly into the buckles, El Toro took the champ up-top, Mox biting his way free just as Jose distracted the ref, allowing Andrade to interfere until the Lucha Bros chased them off to a huge pop. A second king kong lariat was returned with a jumping knee and piledriver for another two for Rush.
After avoiding a basement dropkick in the corner, Mox transitioned smoothly from ducking a clothesline into the Death Rider. Only for Rush to kick out at 2! Unfortunately for him, the champ then slapped on the Bulldog Choke for the tap.
Fantastic action from bell-to-bell, the only slight gripe is that it needn’t have been for the belt.
With Punk likely out a good while longer, it’ll be interesting to see who Mr Moxley faces next. Well, no need to wonder for long, because it was ‘Yaaaay, the heels are here!’ as the chords of Judas played.
Jericho, accompanied by Sammy, Tay, Angelo Parker and Anna Jay in devil’s red, acknowledged an ‘amazing match’. Anna cut a brief promo implying she had snapped, frantically threatening to choke out members of the audience.
Repeating three times that ‘I beat Eddie Kingston’, Jericho said he wanted his rematch from two years ago, in two weeks. Mox said he ‘hated this sports entertainment bull****’ and ‘you can take your interim and shove it up your ass’, he’s the two-time world champ. Accepting the challenge, Mox had one of his own, telling Jericho to leave his bag-carriers behind, along with his gimmicks: ‘I want the Lionheart’, ‘the last survivor of the Hart dungeon.’
WINNER: Jooooooooon Mox-ley
An excellent opening segment which got better as Trios Titles were announced. Of course, there’s a tournament, but we’ll forget all the piling up of belts and tournaments for a minute because these matches should be awesome to watch. It’s already been rumored that the Bucks & a returning Kenny Omega will be teaming at All Out, which is when the tournament culminates.
Dante Martin promo w/ Tony. Delivery needs a little work but the content was very good. While Sammy’s been off jet-setting, he’s been working in the ring, earning the fans’ respect: ‘Remember what that feels like Sammy?’ He’s gonna have Skye Blue in his corner for tonight’s match.
Ricky Starks vs Danhausen, FTW Title
Backstory: Ricky made an open challenge last week
Schiavone joined on comms as a faux ‘What makes a champion?’ vid played promoting Starks.
Hobbs stayed home as Starks made his way to the ring. Given how much the commentators went-on about the title, you know something was coming.
‘Stark Week’ sign in the crowd. Nice.
Threatening a Curse but turning it into his pose, Starks started quickly but hit his head on the middle buckle and was rolled up for two. Seconds later, he got up and drilled Danhausen with a spear for the 1,2,3.
Starks acted like he’d just been through a sixty-minute classic, once again calling out a new challenger as the ‘Hook’ chants began. The youngster obliged.
Wearing orange trunks, Hook launched quick punches, a pump-handle suplex, flipped to his feet out of a hiptoss but was drilled with a spear as Starks went for Roshambo. However, Hook turned it into the Redrum while on Starks’ back as the crowd went wild for the new champ. Taz was clearly genuinely loving this. Starks offered a fist-bump which the youngster reciprocated.
Cutting a fiery babyface promo afterwards, Starks was walloped from behind by Hobbs and Spinebuster-ed as Taz asked what the hell he was doing.
This belt has been pointless since its inception. Hook might just be the only guy able to make it mean something, based on both lineage and attitude.
WINNER: Ricky Starks
Acclaimed segment. ‘Friday night, we’re takin’ out the Trash Boys!’ Via a new music video. Those DX-style football jerseys are nice.
Sammy Guevara vs Dante Martin
Really looking forward to this. Seems a loooong time since a Sammy singles outside of that dumb TNT title feud. The last meaningful one might have been the ladder match with Cody.
The crowd had cooled considerably following the opener, though Sammy’s also lost a lot of steam. AEW briefly remembered that Guevara got thrown off a f****** cage.
Beginning with Sammy’s patented series of flips into a dropkick, Dante followed-up by putting his own spin on it, avoided a baseball slide to the outside, then performed his false-dive, flipping back into the ring off the top-rope. Sammy decided enough was enough, trying to leave but Martin blasted him with a diving senton off the stage as the ads arrived.
For those interested, Dante gave Skye a peck on the cheek during the pic-in-pic.
And Tay’s really improved as a heel: the gum, the attitude, the interaction with the crowd.
Returning to Sammy tumbling to the outside, he caught the youngster with a knee as he followed with a springboard dive. Impressive athleticism but looked choreographed as hell. Guevara followed up with a twisting dive over the ropes, bringing things back inside with a spectacular Spanish fly for two. JR really needs to quit the ‘Sammy! Sammy! Sammy!’ now he’s a heel.
Going for the GTH, Guevara was countered into a backslide for 2, Dante flipped over a charging Sammy, hit a full nelson bomb for another 2 and went onto the apron looking for the Nose Dive but Sammy met him up top and a painful looking botch resulted. They transitioned well into another Spanish fly as Martin got another pair of two counts, following up with a sit-out bomb.
Avoiding another Nose Dive, Sammy followed with a diving cutter in another very choreographed looking sequence. Guevara polished the youngster off with the GTH as the heels put the boots to a downed Dante, bringing Skye in only for Anna Jay to attack from behind. This made Blue look a complete moron. Finally, the fans erupted as Eddie Kingston, Ruby Soho and Ortiz hit the ring.
Though this pair are incredible athletes, this wasn’t nearly as good as it could’ve been. Maybe expectations were too high. The lengthy break didn’t help, but nor did the overly choreographed looking sequences.
WINNER: Sammy Guevara
Daniel Garcia promo. Essentially said he’s been active and sharp while Danielson’s been on the sidelines. If Garcia ever won, might’ve believed him. (My bad)
Jay Lethal et al. challenged the Best Friends for Friday. Who accepted because they were right there.
Jungle Boy joined Schiavone in the ring, accompanied by Luchasaurus, wearing the jacket Christian laid over him. Exploding with rage, he called Christian ‘The biggest p**** I’ve ever met in my life!’. Wondering why Christian was so bothered by losing a payoff for not winning a battle royal, he then remembered his ‘bitch ass’ had just been divorced. Called Luchasaurus his ‘best friend’, started referencing digging his own dad’s grave with his uncle as Christian interrupted from backstage. The next thing he drapes over Jungle Boy will be a bodybag and he’ll lay him next to his father.
I guess they’re going for ultra-realistic but it all just feels cheap. Not a bad promo from JB, some nice character building/backstory, but he’s still a long way from where he needs to be.
Bucks, Cutler Cam. The Bucks were feeling down and wanted the camera off until Brandon mentioned the trios titles, but were immediately down again when he suggested himself as a partner.
Until they bumped into Hangman, offering him a happy birthday as he did the same to Nick for tomorrow. Matt started what was clearly going to be an apology/reconciliation but the Dark Order burst in, fussing over Hangman’s b’day. Maybe Kenny’s not making All Out after all. A Hung Bucks reunion perchance?
Whatever you think of these guys – personally they’re way too over the top as heels – the way they build these long-term, character-based stories is excellent. I’m already desperate for the reconciliation.
Swerve Strickland vs Tony Nese & Mark Sterling
Backstory: Heels are trying to get Swerve banned, which Keith Lee is from ringside for this
Nese has new music. Sterling did his usual shadow-boxing, guy’s a riot.
Lee was shown watching backstage as this one kicked-off quickly, a backbreaker and clothesline leaving Nese on the mat. JR complained about back-rakes – ‘I don’t see any skin missing.’ Completely agree but maybe don’t call it out on TV? Particularly when the champ used one in the opener.
A couple cheap shots led to Nese using the hair to drive Swerve headfirst onto the apron as the break beckoned.
Low ‘We want Smark Mark’ chants were the only sound a dead crowd was making upon our return. Ducking a clothesline, Swerve pump-kicked Nese into a tag, clocking him with a right-hand as Sterling refused to enter. A diving uppercut, thrust kick and diving kick to the chest with Nese perched on the apron left him out of it on the outside; Smart Mark stranded in the ring. A leaping kick to the back of the head later, we had our winner.
Backstage, Keith Lee was laid out by a guy I’d never seen before. Josh Woods apparently, whom the heels had been scouting. Distracted by this, Swerve was clocked from behind by Nese.
This isn’t exactly starting off the new champs’ reign with a bang. Isn’t this the most loaded tag roster in the world?
WINNER: Swerve Strickland
The House of Black addressed Miro. Malakai essentially said they were the same and he would help Miro sit on the throne. Brody challenged Darby to a coffin match.
Clips of Pac successfully defending his All-Atlantic title.
Thunder Rosa vs Niyu Yamashita, AEW Women’s Title
Backstory: Yamashita pinned Rosa in Japan recently to earn a shot
A traditional start with lock-ups, wrist locks, arm wringers and counters. Very different to anything else on the card. Which was a good thing. Both grabbed near falls leading to a stand-off as the crowd applauded.
A scrappy-looking sequence on the apron led to a weak leg-sweep as Rosa fell to ringside. After avoiding a dive, the champ struck with chops until Yamashita hit a cool-looking kick/knee after running up the apron, bringing the break.
On top as we returned, Rosa landed a succession of running drop-kicks, following up with a northern lights for 2, then heading to the top where she was met with a kick to the head. After trading strikes in the middle, Yamashita struck with an impressive wheelbarrow German for a count of 2.
Rosa looked for the Driver but was drilled by a Skull Kick, avoiding the loss only by grasping the ropes. After a slow exchange of kicks, Rosa ‘hit’ a cringey kick to the head, then nailed the Thunder Fire Driver for the win.
AEW are apparently high on Yamashita. She has a good look and a karate background but, a few cool moves aside, this wasn’t a great display. Slow and tentative from both.
WINNER: Thunder Rosa
Bryan Danielson vs Daniel Garcia
Backstory: Loser has to give Vince McMahon their first name as a leaving gift. Also, somewhat more truthfully, Danielson’s return after being cleared for a probable concussion.
Jericho joined on comms.
Straight into the action, Danielson struck with a running dropkick before his music had even finished. Yes! kicks followed, stiff ones, in one corner, then the next, another running dropkick, uppercut, Garcia backdropped to the outside, tope suicida. ‘Welcome back!’
Jericho’s insistence that Danielson was ‘back too early’ continued. Funny stuff. The vet is entertaining for the odd match; a bit much over a whole show.
In the mount, Danielson beckoned Garcia to bring it, then blasted him with elbows. The tide turned as the youngster struck with uppercuts and a neckbreaker but barely broke a one count. Outside, the vet was sent into the guard-rail but struck with an elbow, more Yes! kicks and another running dropkick with Garcia perched on a chair. Heading to the top, a shotgun dropkick connected but both guys were down afterward, Danielson landing on his head.
Garcia took advantage: a barrage of blows to the face followed only for the vet to flip-out after being sent to the buckle. After which he collapsed to the mat and rolled outside. Garcia followed, DDT’ing Danielson on the exposed concrete. A hot crowd had gone silent, this did not draw heat, it drew concern.
A bleeding Bryan Danielson was in trouble when we returned, Garcia stomping the head, slowing things down, raking at then biting the cut with the Dragon perched for a superplex. Slipping out, Danielson struck with heavy blows to the spine but again staggered, recovering to launch a belly to back from the top, again landing ‘on his head’.
Still beckoning Garvia to bring it, Danielson exploded with chops and kicks, driving the youngster to his knees, nailing him with a final kick which left him splayed out on the mat. Head-kicking time. Or was it? Garcia countering beautifully into a sleeper until Danielson reversed it, sinching in the Cattle Mutilation, then a tiger suplex only for Garcia to transition into hammer and anvil elbows. Returning the favour and then some, Danielson struck with his own, a shoulder capture suplex for a close two, but was caught by Garcia while waiting to deliver the buzaiko knee and rolled-up for two. ‘This is awesome!’
After ducking consecutive clotheslines, a buzaiko knee landed, a diving knee off the apron followed after Garcia bailed outside. On his way back in, Danielson’s leg was grabbed from underneath the ring, leaving him open to the piledriver and a sharpshooter, Garcia cranking all the way back, right in the middle of the ring as Danielson passed out for the huge upset. Shockingly, it was then revealed that Jake Hager was under the ring as the JAS celebrated, Jericho-and-the-Jobbers no more.
This was an excellent match, full of counters and stiff strikes. The crowd were taken out slightly for a period after they first played-up the possibility of another concussion. And they were far more into Danielson than the match as a whole, perhaps believing, as I’m sure we all did, that the result wasn’t in doubt.
WINNER: Daniel Garcia
- Best Friends & Orange Cassidy vs Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt
- Sydal vs Moriarty
- Ethan Page vs Leon Ruffin
- Ruby Soho vs Anna Jay
- Undisputed Elite return
- ThunderStorm vs Britt & Hayter
- Christian vs Matt Hardy
Dynamite, 10th Aug:
- Jericho vs Mox, AEW Title
HHH’s appointment is bad news for AEW for a number of reasons. Meaning that after several months of pretty poor TV, they need to start improving fast. Tonight was a step in the right direction: building a big title match in two weeks, heralding Hook, advancing storylines and book-ended by two superb matches. It feels like we’re finally on our way to the PPV.
And not a background player from NXT in sight.
- Mox vs Rush
- Garcia vs Danielson
Thanks for reading.