AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from the Heritage Bank Center in Cincinatti, OH. After last week drawing 887,000 & 0.31 in the 18-49 demo.
Either they’re filming Collision tonight or they’ve made that the permanent set for both shows? Or I’m just dumb and thought it was different when it wasn’t. All possibilities.
Jon Moxley vs Big Bill (International Title)
Backstory: Bill & Starks beat down Moxley and his stable-mate Danielson Saturday
Moxley out immediately in his hometown to a great reaction. As they recapped the angle from Collision with Bill attacking the BCC boys. He came out with Starks to Ricky’s music as Excalibur explained how those two linked up.
Fans hot as this kicked off – loud ‘Moxley’ chants as he circled the big man, couple kicks to the leg, backing him to the corner and firing rights. Until being shoved away and eating a big uppercut, Bill then mounted and punched the champ repeatedly to boos.
Overhand chop in the corner, another, Mox fired back with a few of his own but was caught and dumped via ‘sack of shit drop’ as Scott Hall used to call it. The champ hit repeated lariats, Bill shook them off then booted Moxley off the apron. The ref was then distracted by Bill raising his arm in the air, allowing Starks to hit a couple cheap shots.
Bill then pursued Mox, firing rights around ringside until the champ reversed a whip into the steps, then birded Starks. Resulting in being flung over a table at ringside by Bill.
Break. Fine so far, nothing more. Hot crowd helps.
Moxley was covered in blood as we returned. Honestly…
As he raked the back and landed a superplex, both down, crowd firmly behind the hometown boy. To his feet to rapturous cheers, right into a Bossman Slam for two. Crowd immediately quiet again. Until Moxley sat-up Undertaker-style, only to be booted back down. Only to sit up again, yay/boo fight in the middle, Mox blocked a boot, hit a KKL for two, transitioning into H&A elbows until being scooped onto Bill’s back and crushed in the corner.
Rushing back out with a cutter, Bill rolled to ringside to avoid being pinned. Moxley headed upstairs to be pushed off by Starks as the ref daydreamed. Bill took advantage with a big boot, Mox kicked out at two. Danielson flew down to smash away at Starks, dominating the youngster, Moxley rolled up Bill for two. Starks sent BD to the stairs, Mox got a boot up in the corner but leapt off the middle buckle into a chokeslam for two.
Bill fired away from the mount, flipped off the crowd as they chanted for the champ and paid for it by being snatched into a triangle choke, Danielson preventing Starks from getting in, Bill tapped.
Pretty good opener, got better after the break. Very predictable winner.
The heels then overwhelmed the babyfaces. Claudio hit the scene, dumping Bill to the apron, Starks then restrained his big man as the heels left due to the odds being in the faces favor. They made it very clear who the heels and babyfaces were here which is a nice change for most of these guys. Bill & Starks are a nice pairing.
Winner: Jon Moxley
To the back: Renee, Roderick Strong and the Kingdom. Renee talked about Joe destroying Strong last they met. Adam Cole interrupted to warn Strong against competing with his neck injury. Strong said Cole should be worried about Max because he’s a ‘wrestling legend’ and will take the title next week.
They replayed Takeshita defeating Kenny Omega at All In and All Out. Cut to the ring, Schiavone about to unveil Callis’ latest ‘masterpiece’. Tony struggled to say Callis’ name – ‘it’s so hard to put a coward’s name in my rap’ as Nas once said.
He and Takeshita out to boos. They snatched the mic from Tony. Like everyone does, every single time, ever. Callis said Takeshita told him that in Japan when you’re the best in a promotion, they call you ‘Ace’. He listed a load of Japanese legends Takeshita’s better than – Okada, Rikidozan etc.
A bunch of streamers fell.
But when you beat Omega twice in seven days, they call you ‘The Alpha’. Which is Takeshita’s new moniker. ‘And he’s not a fake one like Jericho was’. Callis said beating Omega twice isn’t enough. They broke his body, now they’ll break his heart.
Then unveiled their next target – Kota Ibushi (the painting had Takeshita holding a sword over Ibushi, basically about to execute him). Callis said they’re going to butcher him, skin him, burn him. And Callis’ll love the fact that Omega will be home helpless while they do it. He then stabbed the screwdriver into Ibushi on the painting.
Erm, why’s Omega home? There was no injury angle best I recall. Could you at least tell us? His shoulder’s messed up? Something. Otherwise, pretty good angle. Different. I like different.
Excalibur called Marvez ‘Al Scoops’ again. Eugh.
He was with the BCC sans Yuta. A fired-up Danielson challenged Starks and Bill to face him and Claudio on Collision. An irate Rey Fenix stormed in with Penta to rant at Moxley. Eddie Kingston stoically walked up to Claudio, the two simply stared at each other. The others were dragged away, leaving those two. Kingston said ‘one more week’ then laughed, as the crowd chanted his name.
Renee with Hook. She congratulated him on retaining his belt at All In. Orange Cassidy interrupted to say Hook looked mad. He can’t understand why, since Hook has a championship and he doesn’t anymore. He looked all sad. The crowd ‘aawwed’. They said each other were/are great champions, Hook left, Renee asked Orange if he was doing okay. He said he was very tired.
Toni Storm vs Britt Baker vs Nyla Rose vs Hikaru Shida
Backstory: Winner faces Saraya for women’s title next week
For viewers’ sakes let’s hope Storm or Shida wins here. Storm came out to the Outcasts’ theme but by herself, in old-fashioned-lingerie style ring gear – in keeping with her new character. Britt was out last. None got much of a pop. Though there’s only Moxley to compare to thus far which probably isn’t fair.
Storm left the ring, the other three went at it. Nyla smashed through the other two, Storm then ran in and posed to cheers. Rose was irritated, Shida struck both from behind. Then worked with Baker to bridge Rose outside. Those two argued about this for some reason, Storm shoved Shida into Baker, knocking her outside.
Shida then sent Storm out and dove onto the other three. Break. This is gonna be another short one unless they’re getting time afterward.
All four fighting, split into Rose/Baker & Storm/Shida pairs. Until Toni hit a German on Baker, hip attack on Nyla, Shida brainbustered her, Britt was about to superkick Shida but hesitated, Rose struck from behind and hit a Beast bomb to Storm for two. Shida broke it up.
Nyla planted Britt via chokeslam. Shida blocked a Beast Bomb, hooked the leg for two, running knee strike, weak Katana, lax cover, Baker superkicked Shida to break it up, Curb Stomp, Storm rolled Baker up for the win.
Crowd happy at the outcome but otherwise didn’t care a lick about this match. And why would they? It was an awful advert for the women’s division. Not a critique of the action, but the way it was booked, presented and the time it was given. This was basically a match-long finishing sequence. Right lady won at least.
Winner: Toni Storm
Backstage, babyface Renee was with her bestie, uber-heel Saraya. Saraya congratulated Storm sarcastically. Of course calling her ‘babygirl’. Saraya said when she arrived in AEW a year ago, Storm was the champion and has lost everything since then including her mind. And that’ll continue in their match next week.
Decent promo, nicely linking the theme together of Storm losing everything. But hate, hate, hated the way Renee and Saraya smiled and interacted as the segment ended.
Jericho and Sammy Guevara came out together to Jericho’s music to talk about facing each other next week. This whole angle makes no sense.
Jericho pushed that it was the first time they’ve ever faced off. After being together since the first episode of Dynamite. Jericho introduced a package of their highlights over that time. Of them laughing and singing etc., set to sappy music. With a few disagreements in there. But ending showing them hugging.
Jericho talked about watching an NWA show and seeing ‘a kid named Sammy Guevara’. And was blown away to the point he told Tony Khan to sign him. He wanted Guevara with him to help him out as much as Jericho possibly could. He’s watched Sammy grow into a man, win titles and now about to be a father. He told Sammy he was really proud of him.
The crowd were fairly quiet for all of this. Maybe waiting for the other shoe to drop or perhaps just as confused as I am.
Sammy said everyone expected them to talk trash but instead he wants to thank Jericho before their match. He thanked him on behalf of everyone backstage since without Jericho there is no AEW. They paused for a ‘thank you’ chant that never really started.
Guevara said he hadn’t come to AEW to be in Jericho’s shadow. He wants to be on the level of Mox, Danielson, Jericho. So he ‘need(s)’ to beat Jericho next week. Jericho continued his recent insider stuff by talking about Sammy becoming a ‘money-drawing main eventer’. And next week he has the opportunity to do that.
‘You have to beat me to get to the next level’, agreed Jericho. But to do that Sammy’ll have to be the best ever version of himself. ‘But I don’t think you’re ready to beat me… yet’. Sammy got irritated and said Jericho never respected him like he does Jericho. Firing up, he vowed to beat Jericho, earn his respect, shake hands, hug and then win tag team titles.
They shook but Sammy pulled him in to go face-to-face. Jericho then said next week he’s not going easy on him, he’s going to beat the living hell out of him. Punch him harder than he’s ever punched anyone. And wants the same in return. Sammy said he wouldn’t want it any other way.
Well, it wasn’t a bad segment. But I’m not remotely interested in this. I’m sick of these uneven characters. Not to mention we already have a match next week that’s about ‘respect’ and a handshake.
They showed MJF last week after Dynamite, his neck being examined. The doctor said Max won’t be able to be on Dynamite this week but will be available for Grand Slam. Max assumed Roderick Strong and Samoa Joe would win and that was who he wanted to face so that’s who he talked about. He called Strong manipulative and accused him of faking a neck injury.
Then said when it comes to Joe, it’s about the size of the fight in the dog. He ‘promise(d)’ to ‘choke you out’. Then spoofed Scott Steiner’s infamous ‘math/percentage’ promo. Just what we need, more ‘comedic’ world title build.
Why don’t the three of them just do stand-up next week and whoever draws most laughs wins the belt?
Hangman Page vs Brian Cage
Backstory: Cage attacked Page last week after Swerve questioned his drive & desire
III apparently. Cage beat Page out of nowhere then lost to him at a ppv about 2 ½ years ago. AEW only bothered to mention any of this as Cage made his way to the ring.
Page rushed the heel, was driven to the corner, Cage overwhelmed him as a minority chanted ‘cowboy shit’. Page got a boot up but another was blocked, he slipped behind out of a back suplex, big boot to Cage, another, the Machine came back with a shoulder block. Page responded by bridging the big man to the apron, Cage avoided the springboard lariat but not a second, sending him crashing to ringside.
Page vaulted over the ropes but was caught, smacked against the ringpost but blocked a powerbomb by rana-ing Cage into the post. Then landed the vaulting cross body. As they re-entered, the big man hit back with a boot then choked Page in the ropes, ducked a right, Page again blocked a powerbomb into a rana then hit a 619 (you read correctly) (‘Never done that before!’ – he yelled into the camera).
Buckshot on the way, Page got a bad case of DBS as Swerve’s music hit. Allowing Cage to muscle him in off the apron right into a German suplex. Impressive. Ads.
Whoever first suggested a babyface be distracted by music, a plague on your house.
Back to Swerve watching from the top of the ramp as Hangman booted Cage in the mush but was snatched into a full nelson slam for two. Crowd quiet again here as they exchanged forearms in the middle. Yay/boo. Page slid through Cage’s legs, landed a boot but was caught in a snap powerslam. Though avoided a springboard moonsault from the big man.
Damn this crowd’s quiet.
Back to shots in the middle, Page getting annoyed by each blow, firing a flurry, Cactus Clothesline leaving both outside. Page readied an Ourihara, Cage came back in, caught Page into a bicep-curl fallaway, Page countered into a crucifix bomb in a really nice sequence, a few ‘cowboy shit’ chants as some of the crowd woke.
Hangman back upstairs, Ourihara moonsault landed, diving cross body back inside for two. So impressive how well these two move for their size. Cage nailed a German, Page ended up on the apron, Cage looked for his out-to-in suplex, Page blocked it in a weird see-saw sequence, Buckshot coming, countered, Page ending up on Cage’s back but cradled him for two, popping up to hit Dead Eye for the win.
Am I right in thinking that’s a call back to their previous matches? It rings a bell anyway.
Page and Swerve locked eyes briefly as the announcers tried to put across that Swerve had poked the bear. Hangman took a mic and made fun of Strickland for staying at the top of the ramp while he beat one of his ‘oaf(s)’. Page said he thought that last week Swerve had some balls but now knows they’re stowed away in ‘Nana’s Burger King-ass crown’.
Crowd oohed. Strickland said Page msut be stupider than the Cincinatti education system. He said they’ll fight when he says. And he chooses his ‘house’: Seattle, October 1st, WrestleDream. But he doesn’t want Page comfortable when he gets there so called on Cage to attack from behind again. Nana did his stupid dance that’s earned him a new multi-year deal apparently. The Young Bucks came through the crowd, took out Cage, then waited for Nana to turn and nailed him too.
Excalibur called this ‘an unexpected development’. Someone should explain to him that the Elite got back together. A few months ago in fact.
Good match. Perhaps Page should even perform more regularly? It’d be an idea to show him gaining momentum each week by winning since the story is that Swerve’s ‘lit a fire’. They are at least announcing ppv matches well ahead of time for WrestleDream and it was good that the Bucks had Page’s back instead of being absent while he got his ass beat again.
More should be done with Cage. Especially with Swerve as his mouthpiece.
Winner: Hangman Page
Renee with Daniel Garcia. Who now has cool-guy dark shades. He cut Renee off from talking about Jericho and Sammy to say they should be talking about him, how he ‘went viral’ four times last month and had NFL players doing his dance. Callis interrupted to say he’d love to hear more about Garcia. Talking about a ‘utopian meritocracy’ (popped me, Callis’ BS is second-to-none) in his Family. Garcia shushed him then did his dance before leaving. Callis said ‘That’s money’.
Guess that was left deliberately vague. AEW are certainly into their will he/won’t he stories lately.
They replayed Jade Cargill’s return Saturday. Portraying her as total babyface between the music, commentary and the clips chosen. Then announced she’ll face Statlander on Rampage for the title. WTF? Tony really meant what he said about ‘build’.
Darby Allin & Nick Wayne vs 2.0
Backstory: Zip Zilch Zero
Anna Jay & Jake Hager accompanied 2.0. Menard got one of the loudest chants since Mox – ‘Daddy Magic!’. Until Christian Cage’s music interrupted as the match got going. He joined on comms. And for the second time in two matches, the babyfaces were totally flummoxed by this new means of playing musical notes through a speaker system, allowing 2.0 to take over.
Menard in to stomp Wayne down in the heels’ corner. A backbreaker followed. Parker back in, Wayne hit an enziguri, Anna took the ref, Hager pulled Allin off the apron to block the tag.
Break. Once again weak opponents are compensated for with waves of distractions and interference. In fact, this match is damn near identical to the last in almost every facet of booking.
Wayne was being beaten up like he usually is; Cage wondered if a better mentor would lead to better results. As he finally got the tag to Allin, who ran wild with corner splashes and a running shotgun, his flurry, rollaway and code red to Parker, two only. More outside interference allowed Parker back on top, Wayne got a blind tag then hit Wayne’s World, Menard dragged Wayne out to block the pin.
Darby hit him with a senton off the apron, he and Wayne hit simultaneous dives, Allin landing a Coffin Splash to win (I’m certain he wasn’t legal). Christian Cage (the best face in the company – he banned open challenges after all!) told the crowd to shutup. Then complained that Wayne’s mom doesn’t post enough bikini pics on Instagram. Before complaining about all the talk of Allin & Sting’s victory at All In.
He stressed that not only did he not take the losing fall, he didn’t have his regular partner with him. So challenged Allin & Sting to face him and Luchasaurus at Grand Slam.
A nothing match put-on to be a backdrop for the angle.
Winner: Allin & Wayne
They showed both finalists’ path to this match.
Roderick Strong vs Samoe Joe (Eliminator Final)
Backstory: Winner faces MJF next week for AEW title
We’re only about two months removed from Joe destroying Strong (which is the whole reason he’s in a neck brace). Did not think we’d see him main event both main shows in that span.
Schiavone called Joe going after Strong’s neck – ‘I would too’. Crowd did not seem to think Strong had much of a chance, Joe’s immediately smothering him to the ropes didn’t dissuade them of this. He then swatted Strong backward, the heel landing outside among the Kingdom. Finally back in, Joe sent him right back out, again with ease. Strong kicked the barricade in frustration then lingered outside for a long time.
Drawing Joe out to chase him then attacking him as they got back inside. Briefly. The Monster smashed through him with his shoulder, roared, then jabbed him down into a pile of goo in the corner. And was ignoring Strong’s chops as the ads arrived.
Have to believe Strong’s winning here since he’s been totally dominated. Maybe they’ll do Joe vs Max at WrestleDream?
Joe still dominant after-ads, Strong fired a knee to the gut, blows to the back, knee to the head, running kick, Joe flung him off before even getting one on a cover. Strong went to a face lock, Joe sent him to the corner, Strong got a boot up and flew via missile dropkick. Count of two.
Strong went back to the face lock, Joe fought free, Manhattan drop, big boot, senton, two. A snap powerslam the same. Powerbomb coming, Strong slipped behind, enziguri, running knees and lariats, step-up knee in the corner, Joe shook it off but was knocked down via flying lariat as Strong got two.
Then looked for the Stronghold. Joe shook free, STJoe out of the corner, Muscle Buster coming, the Kingdom hit the apron. Groan. So predictable. Strong hit a running knee strike for nearly three.
And readied another, Joe clotheslined him out of the air in a great-looking spot then smothered him into the Kokina Clutch for the tap. Wow, Joe was really made to look strong there. Pun (sort-of) intended. Good match telling an effective story of Joe being a monster.
‘OHHH MAXXXXX’ – Joe took the mic. His prophecy has come true and now he’s ‘coming for you’. He’s gonna ‘beat you up and take everything you have kid… everything’.
This was everything Max’s silliness wasn’t. That’s how you build a match.
Strong and the Kingdom were talking in the ring when Adam Cole came out to a big pop, sans music. Strong simply crumpled to the mat out of nowhere, holding his neck, so obviously faking. Yet Cole totally bought it and was all concerned. They stretchered Strong out again. Basically replaying the whole angle they did last time Roddy faced Joe. Strong was yelling ‘Adaaaam’ and asking why he hadn’t been there sooner.
This was weird. And made Cole look a total moron for buying such obvious BS. The Kingdom and Cole barked back and forth as they blamed Cole for what’d happened. They wouldn’t let him go with Strong. What a strange way to go off the air. Except it wasn’t the end.
Joe reappeared, wrapping Cole in the Clutch from behind, reiterating that he was taking everything. The crowd chanted Joe’s name and cheered. They pushed the Grand Slam card again before the show ended.
Winner: Samoa Joe
- FTR vs Iron Savages (Tag Titles)
- BD & CC vs Starks & Big Bill
Grand Slam Dynamite:
- Chris Jericho vs Sammy Guevara (First Time Ever)
- Saraya vs Toni Storm (Women’s Title)
- MJF vs Samoa Joe (AEW Title)
- Jon Moxley vs Rey Fenix (International Title)
- Eddie Kingston vs Claudio Castagnoli (ROH Title vs Strong Title)
- Bryan Danielson vs Zack Sabre Jr (‘Dream Match’)
- Hangman Page vs Swerve Strickland
- Page vs Cage
- Some decent angles pushing future matches without anything standing out
- Joe the exception: aside from him beating a bigger name, they couldn’t have done more for him here
- There was also some crappy crutch-booking with too much interference and ref’s and babyfaces being distracted by essentially nothing, especially when not a single instance of it actually led to a finish
- More world title silliness – Max needs to have a ‘switch’ when it comes to the BBB and save the comedy for the tag belts
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.