Arena: MVP Arena
City: Albany, NY
Last Week’s Rating: 1.035,000 overall; 0.38 in 18-49 demo
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Jon Moxley vs Sammy Guevara, Grand Slam Tournament Semi
Backstory: Winner will face Jericho/Danielson at Grand Slam
Very interested in this one, real mix of styles. Sammy needs something to kickstart him, a great performance here wouldn’t hurt.
Wild Thing blared as Excalibur welcomed us to the show, along with Regal, Taz and Schiavone. Fair to say the two-time champ was popular with the crowd, holding up three fingers on his way to the ring as the finals beckoned. Heavy boos greeted the God, who left Tay behind but did bring that jacket.
Vociferous, very male ‘Moxley’ chants turned to boos as Guevara immediately fled to ringside. Stiff lock-up, headlock takeover held as Sammy tried in vain to escape. Back to their feet, hands still locked, Guevara was backed into the corner, ducked under, flurry of strikes sending Mox to the deck, HEAVY boos turning to cheers as the latter rebounded with the King Kong Lariat.
Moxley went for the Death Rider, Sammy flipped out, exchange of chops and palm strikes, you know who came out best: Mox even feigned being knocked down.
Things changed as the pace did, Sammy striking with a pair of impressive acrobatic assaults to the outside, thereafter grinding the face of the downed former champ into the ring steps. Guevara then took a breather, as did the show.
Good action so far, crowd much better than last week.
Precariously perched upon our return, Guevara was searching for a piledriver on the apron but Moxley drove Sammy face-first, leaving him seeing stars on the outside as the ref’s count reached seven.
Another set of stiff lariats in the corner led to Sammy being perched up top: bite to the forehead, avalanche butterfly suplex leading to a submission attempt, Sammy eventually countering out into the Lion Tamer.
Mox into the corner, Sammy ducked through the ropes, enziguri from the apron, double-jump cutter for a close two count. GTH set-up, Moxley slid out right into the Bulldog Choke, Sammy fighting but the hammer and anvils having the desired effect as Mox set-up the KKL only for Guevara to turn it into a Spanish Fly in a fantastic exchange. ‘This is awesome!’ Sure is.
Headed topside, Guevara was caught, Moxley firing a wicked avalanche German as both lay on the mat, the ref counting, the ladies out, Anna distracting the ref as Tay nailed the low blow, Sammy with the roll-up, 1..2… kick out! Sammy to the top once more, missing with the senton atomico, Moxley crawling over into a seatbelt-like pin for two of his own.
Back where they were earlier, exchanging strikes in the middle, Sammy hitting with a jumping knee, thrust kick, the GTH set-up, Moxley slid out, Death Rider, 1,2,3.
I deliberately don’t use this word often, but this… this was awesome! Fast-paced, smooth as hell, hard-hitting, nice mix of strikes and cool aerials. Loved it.
Really can’t lose with the final: either the BCC Boys get it on or we get a second look at Mox/Jericho. The former seems the consensus.
WINNER: Jon Moxley
After demanding a mic, MJF made his way out to a lot of cheers, a smattering of boos, the youngster immediately cutting off them and his music. Not that it helped much, the crowd continuing to chant his name. Max said he hadn’t slept all week; he saw no fear in Moxley’s eyes and that ‘pisses me off’. He wasn’t the same kid Mox beat in 2020.
Max kept calling Moxley a character, said he’d read his book: Mox’d been bullied and had to put on a front and he was still doing it. MJF had to really work hard to try to keep the crowd support at bay.
Gave Moxley props for kicking alcoholism but claimed that ‘my brain is more dangerous than your disease’ and this was a warning to Jericho and Bryan too. If he was them, he wouldn’t want to be winning My Title. If Moxley doesn’t tread lightly, he’ll find out that MJF is that demon Mox talked about.
Excellent mic work, emphasizing the title.
Max then introduced the ‘first ever stable-on-retainer, led by my best friend: Stokely Hathaway and The Firm’. They came out to a kind-of Deep Cover mash-up. Max disappeared immediately, presumably along with a chunk of the audience.
Essentially, they’re only together to help MJF, when he needs it. Otherwise, you won’t see them together. Went through each member, ‘what they want and what they’re here for.’ Page got a nice reaction, some ‘Ass Boys’ chants, otherwise no-one cared. Hathaway channeled Rick Ross with his ‘Run with us or run from us’ tagline.
Delivery good, content meh, too long by half.
Jungle Boy vs Jay Lethal
Seems an age since JB last wrestled solo on TV. For his sake, hope this is someone to beat rather than feud with. The commentators highlighted how soon JB was wrestling after the attack by Luchasaurus. They also showed Dax being cheated by Lethal a few weeks back.
Sonjay Dutt killed the ‘we’re men, you’re a BOY’, buried it, killed it, dug it up x infinity.
Fists flew after a quick grapple, JB was countered as he attempted the escalera but went right back to it, nipping up into a nice dropkick. Lethal kept targeting the legs, Jungle Boy kept countering into pin attempts, Lethal bailing outside, Singh blocking a potential dive, Jay taking advantage, dropping Jungle Boy back-first across the top buckle.
In control, continuing his work on the back, Lethal kept the youngster in trouble until he exploded out of the corner via lariat. Both struggled to their knees: exchanging yay/boo strikes and chops, back on two feet, flying elbow strike by JB but back giving out as he hoisted Lethal for a suplex. Avoiding the Lethal Injection, the youngster landed another lariat and managed to lift Lethal this time, bagging a two-count.
The underutilized Russian leg-sweep was hit from the top by Jay as he continued to target the back, JB crawling, Lethal again thinking Lethal Injection, JB avoiding but blasted with the Lethal Combination, tope suicida, Macho Man Elbow, two slaps of the mat. Catching Jay mid-thrust-kick, Jungle Boy synched in the Snare Trap, bringing Singh onto the apron, Jay taking advantage via roll-up with the trunks. JB kicked out, snatching up Lethal back into the Snare-trap for the tap.
Good match with a simple story and the right result.
WINNER: Jungle Boy
Training video feat. Hook and Action Bronson. Bronson did the talking – ‘You’re lookin’ at New York City – right here’… ‘were gonna whoop your ass’.
Ethan Page interrupted a pizza maker. Danhausen interrupted him. Page wants the All-Atlantic Title, will start with Danhausen on Friday. Erm… why?
Darby Allin vid showing some crazy stuff he did at the weekend. Matt Hardy followed-up, challenging Allin for Friday. The positive – they’re promoting Rampage matches; the negative – they’re promoting these Rampage matches.
Will Hobbs vs Tony di Martino
Spinebuster in about .30. Somehow Hobbs was bleeding from the mouth.
Taking the mic as ‘We want Ricky’ played in the background, he stated that it was ‘time for a new chapter’, a new opponent, just as Starks appeared in the crowd, all-black everything, bee-lining towards the big man, landing a few shots as Starks headed for higher ground.
WINNER: Will Hobbs
Lucha Bros vs Swerve in our Glory, AEW Tag Titles
Backstory: Promo package played about 10 secs before the match
Was this even advertised? Because I certainly wasn’t aware of it. Not complaining about the match, am about the titles being on the line. Also about one of these sets of champs having to lose.
Crowd happy to see the Bros, not so much Swerve. Winners will face the Acclaimed. I realize I’m the fun police, but wouldn’t have minded the Acclaimed getting one of those win things before they’re crowned next week.
‘Zero Miedo’ rang out as Penta started with Swerve, targeting the arm, drilling Strickland with a kick, tagging in Rey for the double team wheelbarrow combo. Crazy headscissors with Fenix/Swerve perched on the ropes, Lee in, dropping Rey with one shot, Fenix fighting back until being blasted with the double palm strike.
Fenix was in trouble as we returned before hitting his rebound heel-kick, tag to Penta, slingblade, backstabber, slingblade on Lee as he came in, Swerve caught coming off the top, thrust kick, all culminating in Fenix being caught by Lee on the outside, who promptly threw him back in over the ropes to break up Penta’s pin at 2.
Very creative, not to mention strong.
Swerve flipped out of a Fear Factor, tagging in Lee who crashed through Penta, snapping Rey across his knee before hoisting him up for the Swerve Stomp but the Bros fought out: Lee dropped via thrust kick, springboard Spanish Fly by Fenix on Swerve, Destroyer by Penta off their backs onto Lee for a very close two.
Crowd lost their mind at that sequence.
With the Bros well on-top, Swerve shoved Fenix off the top and Lee hit the fireman’s-carry-slam for the victory. This was breathless, impossible to keep up with and incredibly creative. Still don’t like beating the new trios champs, seems stupid.
The Acclaimed emerged instantly to a HUGE pop, Scissor Me Daddy tees for all three. Took a few verbal shots at the champs; vowed to win the titles next week.
WINNER: Swerve in our Glory
Marvez backstage looking for Death Triangle after a ‘bump in the road.’ Pac took exception to those words, calling himself a double champion, but was blindsided from off-screen by an emerging Orange Cassidy, who said he wouldn’t be a double champ for long.
Toni Storm & Athena vs Britt Baker & Serena Deeb
Backstory: Deeb’s probably next for Toni; Britt took out Shida on Dark = Athena
Pre-match promo where the faces vowed to win for Shida. Honestly never heard Athena speak before. Said Britt had bigger problems, like falling out with her friend Hayter who ‘she’s useless without’. Effective.
Storm and Serena started things, searching for submissions, exchanging holds on the mat to a draw. Athena flung herself in over the ropes into a splash, then hit a really cool move dropping Deeb off the shoulder onto the knees face-first. Just in time for the ads, Britt distracted Athena, allowing Deeb to hit a chop-block.
Storm got the tag right as we returned, dropkick on Britt, who bailed on Sweet Cheeks Music, Storm following into a swinging ddt off the apron. Slingblade by Baker back inside, allowing the double tag, Deeb striking hard with uppercuts, catching Athena into the arm-lock out of mid-air as the latter sprang off the middle rope. Athena powered her up, Deeb rolled through but was laid out via meteora.
Cross body as Storm tagged in, Serena snatching the single-leg crab, Athena tried to intervene but Britt blasted her with a thrust kick, one more for Toni, kick out at 2.
Rough landing for Athena against the steps courtesy of Britt, Deeb working over the isolated Storm in the middle, setting up the Detox, Storm fighting out into a waistlock looking for the German but distracted by Baker, who held a chair in place for Serena to fling the champ face first, leading to the pin.
Post-match Athena tried to fight back but was doubled by the heels then blasted with a Curb Stomp. Grabbing a chair, Jamie Hayter came down to intercept but then walloped Storm before leaving as Britt shouted after her that ‘I said I was sorry.’
Maybe it was following the previous tag but this all felt like a blur. There was some really good action but none of it had time to breathe.
WINNER: Serena Deeb and Britt Baker
Chris Jericho vs Bryan Danielson, Grand Slam Tourn. Semi
Backstory: Winner advances to face Moxley @ Grand Slam for AEW Title
After a somewhat disappointing contest at All Out, the betting says these two will be eager to put on a show. Regal joined again on comms, both competitors receiving a strong reaction from the crowd.
Straight into the action, Danielson backed Jericho into the corner with a wild flurry of chops and yes! kicks, whipping him across, following with a running dropkick, then another, Jericho trying to fight back in-between.
Daniel Garcia was shown watching backstage as Jericho dropped BD with a shoulder but was then bridged to the outside, Danielson striking with another dropkick through the ropes and a diving knee strike off the apron. At which point, the Dragon began his work on the arm as he built towards the eventual LeBell Lock. Before heading to the top, diving headbutt, two slaps of the mat, Danielson dominant.
Clearly, they heard the ‘too slow’ talk after All Out.
More yes! kicks with Jericho on his knees, targeted at the arms. The vet finally ducked under, drilling BD with a German, sending him outside, following via springboard dive from the corner.
Back inside, Jericho began to paintbrush Danielson. Who didn’t like it much, slapping the feces out of Lionheart, leading to a stinging exchange of chops with everything behind them, Danielson again backing Jericho to the corner, Jericho ready this time for the dropkick, ducking, both hitting the ropes, crashing mid-ring as the well-deserved break arrived.
Scaling the ropes as we returned, the Dragon was crotched, Jericho thinking hurracanrana, then setting up the Judas Effect, missing, Danielson the bridge for 2, transitioning into Cattle Mutilation, right in the middle. Hammer and anvil out to play again, Jericho breaking out via a shot to the temple, returning the elbow strikes until he was exhausted, the two exchanging more chops to already red chests, Danielson back on top, Codebreaker out of nowhere, Danielson staggering into the corner then flying back out with a busaiku knee as the crowd applauded. ‘Fight forever!’
More chops with Jericho on the apron, Danielson inside, suplexed out, landing badly on his ankle as he crashed feet-first, the crowd silent as Aubrey and the Dr checked on him. Jericho though, sensing a weakness, immediately got to work, hammering the ankle against the ring post then hooking in the figure four as a good Canadian should.
Hoisting BD for a kneebreaker, Danielson fought desperately, hammering the back, hopping across, searching for another busaiku knee but failing badly, Jericho immediately hooking the Lion Tamer, transitioning into a single-leg heel-lock, right in the middle, Danielson fighting the pain as the crowd roared him on.
Continuing the attack, Jericho transitioned into a spinning toe hold, Danielson kicked him off, headfirst into the corner, roll-up, quick 2 for Danielson but Jericho went right back to the leg via dragon screw, back into a leglock, the pair exchanging blows while still in the hold. Danielson fighting with everything he had, through into the LeBell Lock, Regal great on comms, quietly urging his man on as Jericho’s hand hovered, fighting the inevitable before finally tapping.
Garcia gave a thumbs-up backstage. Absolutely phenomenal. Two superb matches to open and close the show. Moxley immediately hit the ring, Danielson limping badly, Regal looking on as the two faced-off, finally shaking hands as the show ended.
WINNER: Bryan Danielson
• Samoa Joe vs Josh Woods, ROH TV Title
• Matt Hardy vs Darby Allin
• Ethan Page vs Danhausen
• Penelope Ford vs Willow Nightingale
• Jon Moxley vs Bryan Danielson, AEW World Title
• Swerve in our Glory vs Acclaimed, AEW Tag Titles
• Storm vs Athena vs Baker vs Deeb, AEW Women’s Title
• Pac vs Orange Cassidy, AEW All-Atlantic Title
The following Rampage:
• Hook/Bronson vs 2.0
An excellent episode of Dynamite. Combined, these might be the best two matches ever on a single episode. In between, we saw more good action, gave Jungle Boy a much-needed victory, furthered storylines, built to Grand Slam: essentially, outside of The Firm’s promo, every single thing on this show was good and had a purpose.
Perhaps All Out was the low point needed to snap Tony Khan out of it, because these are the best back-to-back shows in a long time.
• Sammy vs Mox
• Danielson vs Jericho
Thanks for reading.