AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, CO. After last week drawing 984,000 & 0. in the 18-49 demo. That’s the best audience since Feb, third highest of the year and the best demo in a year.
Between that & the positive Collision numbers, they have their recipe: book competitive matches between name wrestlers and build to them. No it’s not original, but it’s something they seemed to have forgotten.
Show started with Justin in the ring to introduce an International Title match. Doesn’t seem like many attendees as they pan the crowd.
Rey Fenix vs Jeff Jarrett
Nice pop for Rey as the announcers put him over as the new champ.
No F’in way man. Jeff bloody Jarrett… This is not how you establish a new champ. Especially one who hadn’t been booked all that well to begin with.
Fenix plummeted onto Jarrett and all his goons as they were making their entrance. Excalibur explained that was how Fenix started things against Mox and he’s sticking to the formula. Fenix flying headscissor-ed Lethal into Satnam’s balls, Karen raked his back, not a DQ of course cause it’s a Jarrett match. Fenix fought them all off then landed a moonsault inside as the bell finally rang.
The usual Jarrett stuff – Karen choked Fenix in the ropes, Jeff did the same with his leg. Fenix came back with kicks, springboard spin kick, Satnam Singh interrupted him atop the buckle, Fenix had to leap to avoid being crotched as Singh swang (Shoutout Naughty by Nature). So much (interference) stuff happened I couldn’t keep up with it, both guys down.
Break. Excalibur told us the show’s ‘off to a hot start’. LIAR!
‘Jarrett sucks!’ yelled the crowd as we came back. Fenix chopped him into the ropes, Fenix was selling his knee, Jarrett fell down and Rey fell down. Not sure why. Aubrey came outside to shove Karen on her ass. The crowd chanted loudly for her. She checked on Fenix. Back inside, Rey landed a stomp for two.
Thrust kick with Jarrett on his knees. To the top, of course all the guys got on the apron, Jarrett hit a low blow and a cradle for a near fall. Rey slipped out of a powerbomb, Jarrett hit a very bad looking Stroke, a lax cover saw Fenix kick out at two.
Satnam Singh hit the apron again right in front of Aubrey, Rey collided with him, Rey snatched a rollup on Jarrett to win. What a champion, dominated but sneaking a win against a creaky vet who never wins! Yay Rey!
Where the hell was Penta during all this?
Winner: Rey Fenix
They showed Adam Cole legitimately hurting himself last week. Then cut to a vid of him and MJF on a boat. Cole was on crutches.
Max then questioned Cole about not being there for his match last week ‘cause he was with Roderick Strong. Max said he was getting a beer. He got his ring out the cooler. Cole asked (he had his back to Max) if Max brought him out here to hit him with the ring. Cole explained that both guys are important. Max said he didn’t like having more than one friend.
They got excited cause they got a bite. It was Paul Wight in a rubber ducky. They all had a beer together and Wight said they were ‘alright’.
This was really lame and corny. And the story was very much more of the same stuff – will Max turn? And Cole talking him out of it. Big Show in the ducky was funny though.
Footage of Callis and Takeshita in Tokyo. To hunt Kota Ibushi. Callis, Takeshita and Sammy will be out next. Hope there’s more of that footage in Japan cause them hunting Ibushi’s a fun idea.
Also, buckle up because they are zooming through segments. Your usual ‘go home’ Dynamite.
Renee in the ring to call out ‘the Alpha’ Konosuke Takeshita and Don Callis. They replayed Sammy attacking Jericho last week then the angle on Rampage where Omega saved Jericho.
Nice, quick package explaining the story.
Back to the arena, Callis was heavily booed as usual. Renee asked if Sammy had joined the Family. Callis said he was very happy Guevara was free of Jericho’s ‘toxic influence’. He introduced Sammy who came out to his usual music (it’s a cool tune but a more heelish theme might’ve been a nice change).
Sammy didn’t speak, Callis went back to reveal footage of he and Takeshita in Japan. They were at Ibushi’s dojo. A student said Ibushi would be there soon, they beat the crap out of him, Ibushi appeared, quickly beat down Takeshita but went to check on his student, Takeshita attacked from behind and was beaten down again. Callis attacked Ibushi with something, Ibushi didn’t sell it. Takeshita hit him with a kettle bell from behind.
They held Ibushi’s face up to the camera to show Omega and said Ibushi wasn’t safe anywhere.
Back to the ring, Callis said the Family has never been stronger. Sammy took the mic – the boos continue to pour – he said he’s painted as the bad guy and Jericho is the villain (sure is). A loud ‘F You Sammy’ chant played (they clearly turned down the audio). Guevara complained that he had Jericho’s back and expected that one day he’d ‘pass the torch’. But it was never gonna happen.
Callis said that Sunday they’ll take ‘everything… until there’s nothing left but the tears’.
That Ibushi video was not good. Takeshita doesn’t have enough credibility yet to be dealt with that easily. Yes he’s a heel but he’s a kickass one. Also Ibushi looked really dumb to keep turning his back on the heels.
For the second segment in succession, where were the babyface’s friends? Why didn’t they storm the ring? There was no explanation for why two of the biggest stars in the company weren’t on the show.
Straight to a recap of Danielson/Starks from Collision. Starks interview: he did his usual and acted like he hadn’t lost. Yuta interrupted and was being a good guy until Starks told him not to touch him again. Yuta said he was ‘an entitled prick’ who talks big but can’t take a punch. He couldn’t get back up against Danielson. Yuta takes a beating everyday and gets back up, Starks doesn’t. Yuta challenged him for WD.
You’ll never guess but Tony Khan has made the match. A ‘grudge match’ per Excalibur.
Nick Jackson vs Bryan Cage vs Claudio Castagnoli
Backstory: Winner will face Rey Fenix next week for the Int’nl Title on the anniversary Dynamite
They mentioned in passing that the Bucks and Page won the ROH Trios Titles Friday. Claudio got a nice pop.
Cage walloped Nick with a knee and pressed him outside. Leaving the big guys in there. Test of strength time, going well for Cage – he hit a kick but Claudio countered a suplex into one of his own. Cage hit a brainbuster, Claudio popped right back up, they exchanged strikes and uppercuts, Nick back to the apron, in to hit his escalera/headscissors takedown to both then springboard senton’d onto both outside.
Back in the ring, Cage hit a shoulder to the gut, Nick ducked under and hit a superkick, then, from the apron, vaulted in to stomp his way off Claudio’s back before rolling through into a backcracker on Cage in the opposite corner.
Ads. Really nice start. Crowd enjoying it.
Back to the big guys in the ring, Cage avoided a charge, spinning enziguri and German out of the corner, Nick in for a running knee, gamengiri, bulldog out of the corner to Cage, punt off the apron to Claudio, suck it facebuster to cage, caught out of a moonsault but turning it into a tornado ddt on Claudio outside. Killer sequence.
To the top, 450 on Cage, close count. Crowd really behind Nick. Understandably. He’s been awesome.
Back from a replay, Claudio left Nick laying outside, Cage down in the ring, time to Swing. At least ten reps on the enormous Cage, Nick broke the pin at two, sent CC outside, was caught out of across body by Cage into an F5 for another near fall. Crowd so into this.
Cage hit a front kick to Claudio then suplexed him in off the apron for another two count. Nick superkicked Claudio into a Cage sunset flip for two, Nick pair of superkicks to Cage, Claudio squashed Cage in the corner, they repeated this, Nick hit a superkick to Claudio who came back via pop-up uppercut, big lariat to Cage for another two.
Right to hammer & anvil elbows, Ricola Bomb, Nick back to ‘rana Claudio outside and snatch the win. Figured Nick might win since he and Rey will have a killer match. If it’s any better than this, they’lll have done very well indeed. This was excellent. Almost impossible to keep up with. But excellent.
Yet the show rushed away to the next segment. A match like that deserves a little recog.
Winner: Nick Jackson
Excalibur said the Righteous have ‘exploded’ onto the tag scene (credibility’s so important for a lead announcer).
Like Saturday they did a video blathering to Cole and MJF about materialism and karma and such in front of flowers and trees. It’s easier to forgive an enemy than a fake friend. They’d made paper figures which fell to the floor as the vid ended.
Put simply – more esoteric BS.
After ads, Max and Cole out to respond. Presumably. Cole was on crutches again, his lower left leg in a massive cast. Cole was given a chair to sit in as they did the ‘Bay Bay’ thing.
MJF said the Devil has arrived then passed to Cole. He said this is a sad chapter of story-time. His ankle ‘exploded’ last week, broke in three different places, he tore ligaments. And has to get surgery. Max put his hand on Cole’s shoulder as the latter vowed to get back as soon as possible (sucks for Cole after spending all that time out).
He was about to give up the belts when Max cut him off. The crowd chanted ‘no!’. Max said he didn’t wrestle twice in one night to relinquish his belts to the Righteous. He called them a bunch of names. The crowd agreed. Max said Cole wouldn’t be hurt if it wasn’t for him since he needed help last week. He knows how much the belts mean to Cole, so when he returns, the titles will be waiting.
Max told the Righteous he’d defend them in a handicap match and ‘we’ are going to win.
‘ADAAAAAAAAM’ interrupted as usual. Strong was wheeled to the ramp by the Kingdom in a hospital gown. He said he needs Cole more than ever, it’s an emergency.
Max called him a ‘simp’. But since he’s Cole’s boy, he told Cole he can go help Roddy and Max will be waiting when he comes back. The announcers called Max a changed man. The crowd chanted that Max is ‘our scumbag’.
Strong’s wheelchair had ‘Hot Roddy’ on the back. It’s a shame for those guys also that Cole’s out.
They all left, Max started up again when Jay White’s music interrupted. BCG came out. Yes please! Had wondered if White would have anything to do at WD. White sent the rest of BCG back then headed to the ring.
A low ‘too sweet, whoop whoop’ chant started as the two settled in opposite corners. A loud ‘MJF’ chant answered. MJF began to speak, White yelled for him to ‘shutup Max!’. Told the crowd to too. Then continued: we’ve all heard Max talk enough, it’s time to hear White’s ‘sweet exotic accent for a change’ and Max should revel in the moment.
Max said he must be smoking some good Colorado grass. A ‘weed’ chant started. Max said mid-level mic work isn’t cutting it against him, that mic work was almost as hairy as the pubic hair on White’s face. Max has been compared to a lot of people – ‘MJF is good but he’s no ____’. It had never bothered him until ‘Jay White’ was the name at the end of the sentence.
A ’bullshit’ chant broke out. Max called himself fillet mignon and a generational talent. He said White was ‘very talented’ but he’s confused people into believing he’s on Max’s level when in reality he’s ‘tofu’. The crowd chanted that too.
You need to trick yourself into believing that tofu tastes good. White has been given everything – cool music, entrance, tees, factions (White turned to show the logo). But if all that’s taken away, all that’s left is boring, bland and tasteless. The crowd chanted tofu again. So White’s trying to steal Max’s flavor.
He’s all hype. A tame version of what someone in Japan ‘thought was a top guy’. Max said White should leave the ring and stop talking smack to ‘my poors’ (the crowd). If not, the rest of his career will read ‘White’s good but he’s no Maxwell Jacob Friedman’, then did his catchphrase.
White mock applauded. He said that’s what he came for. His own personalized MJF promo experience. But something wsa little off. He thinks MJF’s distracted by his bromance with Cole. Fans don’t love Max like they love Cole and Max hates it.
The crowd chanted ‘MJF’. White said he had the mic, he’s talking so ‘shhh’ – a nice nod to heel MJF. If he hadn’t concussed Cole at Forbidden Door, their friendship never happens, none of this happens. Even Cole trying to break Max’s neck. But Max got him back because Cole’s injury was his fault.
White said he’s been ruining Max’s life for a while now from afar but now he’s here to do it in the flesh. He said Max needs to find another level that he doesn’t have to keep his belt. The champ’s not so Elite when compared to Jay White. He listed all his credentials – the catalyst and etc. He will be ‘a truly Elite champion’ when they peel the belt away from Max’s carcass. He can be just like his poors.
A ’STFU’ chant started. White reiterated that the fans and MJF can have each other, he’ll take the belt and we can all ‘breathe with the Siwtchblade’, it’s still his era, Max has gone soft and he knows it.
Max snapped: White doesn’t have a clue what he’s capable of, he started taking off his stuff to fight, White slipped under the ropes and left.
It was pretty good but not as good as it should’ve been. My expectations were ‘wow’ and this didn’t meet them. Not helped by the fact this crowd weren’t really into White outside of a smattering of hardcores. Definitely a nice rebound from Cole’s injury though. Should be a fun feud. And a pretty good start with White logically questioning whether friendship has ruined Max and getting under his skin in the process.
JR sitdown with Christian and Darby. They’ve agreed to no physicality, the match Sunday’s too important. JR asked Cage about finally being the champ. Cage said he doesn’t know what JRs talking about he’s been the champ for months now.
JR said he’s lost to Allin twice, why does he think he can beat him two times out of three Sunday?
Cage said he knows Allin’s nowhere near the man or the wrestler he is. He relies on tricks and weapons. Cage wants to see what Allin can do when he actually wrestles. He’ll expose him in front of his family.
Then he started in on Allin’s dead uncle. ‘Everybody you talk shit about is dead!’ interrupted Allin. Cage can’t beat him in Seattle. He’s won the belt in Seattle before and he’ll do it again. Cage challenged him to bring everyone he knows. Allin challenged him to win without Luchasaurus then said he knows Cage wants Nick there to screw with him.
Cage said Allin’s not the mentor he needs. He needs someone who doesn’t paint his face to hide his identity. Allin washed his face with water to show he wasn’t hiding. Cage said he is and always will be the face of TNT.
This is more like it as far as these sitdowns go. These two continue to show how feuds should be booked. It was intense, it built the match, it added intrigue, it felt like these two really don’t like each other.
Orange Cassidy vs Matt Jackon vs Austin Gunn vs Penta
Backstory: A rep from each of the teams wrestling for a tag title shot Sunday
Cassidy came out ahead of the break. Have to assume that MJF seg thing went long since it lasted ages. Confirmed by the fact the others made their entrances during the ads.
Gunn flipped off the crowd, Cassidy sent him packing but was dragged out by Gunn, Matt got a roll-up on Penta for two, countered into an armdrag and ddt. Gunn sent outside by Matt, Cassidy ran through his pockets routine sans pockets, finishing with an armdrag, then sent Matt outside.
Penta got a springboard legdrop on Cassidy, crowd clapping ahead of a dive as Austin slid back in to spoil it. Gunn mocked Penta’s walk then yelled ‘Gunns up!’. Penta milked it, removed the glove, tossed it, ‘Cero Miedo!’.
Gunn landed an overhand chop, Penta shook it off and blasted him with one of his own, Gunn ended up outside. Cassidy in, about to pocket his hands, Penta hit a thrust kick, Austin hit him from behind, Austin did Road Dogg’s jabs into a right to leave Cassidy down.
More ads. Basically, two guys come in, one is hit, they leave the ring, another comes in, repeat.
Back to Matt and Gunn atop the buckle, Matt dove outside onto Penta, Gunn and OC now atop the buckle, Cassidy fought him off but (deliberately) fell out onto the other two as well. Back to the top, he was cut off and he and Gunn ran through hip toss counters until Gunn got two.
Gunn hooked a Pedigree, OC backdropped free, Penta hit him with a destroyer; Gunn again looked for the Pedigree, Matt hit a destroyer to Penta; Gunn looked for it again, Matt backdropped free, OC hit him with a destroyer; Gunn looked for it again, Cassidy backdropped free but this time Gunn held on into a rollup for two. Cassidy hit another destroyer (I think it was him, this sequence was crazy), all four down.
Matt avoided a Penta splash in the corner, hit sliced bread to Gunn off Cassidy, blocked a tornado ddt from Cassidy into loco northern lights, Cassidy blocked them, the others ran in, Matt hit a northern lights to both into a two count with Cassidy still trapped in his legs.
‘AE-Dub!’ from the crowd.
Matt looked for a BTE Trigger to Penta who hooked Fear Factor, the pair kept countering till Penta landed an enziguri, slingblade to Gunn, Fear Factor to Matt setup again, Orange wiped him out with a Punch, Beach Blade to Matt, Fameasser to OC from Gunn, kickout at 2.9. He tried pins on the other two too for twos.
The four scrambled up together in the middle, Gunn threw rights but took a triple superkick, Penta and Matt hit a double to Cassidy, Matt and Penta kept hitting the same moves to one another at the same time until Gunn sent Penta outside; OC hit the Punch to Matt to win.
Was ready to say this wasn’t anything special but it was very good after the break. Particularly towards the end which was very creative. A big mess of spots, I no doubt missed some stuff and screwed up in places. Austin Gunn is a fun heel.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Willow Nightingale vs Julia Hart
Backstory: We were told Julia attacked Willow backstage at Collision
Brody was with Julia as usual. She hasn’t lost for seventeen months since losing to Statlander, per Excalibur. That just makes a mockery of everything. Anyone with that sort of record should have been a champion for like a year. We should at least have heard about it.
Willow had her eye covered after being misted Saturday (I swear the commentators on Collision said spraypaint). Hart had a sick smile at her handiwork. Willow smashed through her until Julia climbed her back and raked the bandage away.
Willow cartwheeled out of a whip and smashed Hart down with a lariat. Big overhand in the corner, snap suplex, count of two. From the mount, Willow launched shots, scoop slam to follow, another, a third, Julia slipped behind then simply ran outside and under the ring. Willow was dumb and backed up from Brody – Julia chopblocked her leg from behind.
Back to a Willow DVD, hip attack in the corner, snapmare out, big boot, big spinebuster, two only. Willow’s so damn good.
Shortarm lariat, Hart tripped her looking for Hartless, she got it but too near the ropes. A very staged looking cartwheel into a pounce led to a stampede into the corner, Nightingale mocked Brody’s bark but missed a cannonball as Hart did a situp to the top, moonsault for the win.
It’s criminal how little they do with Willow. Nice finish. Willow stayed down as Hart applied Hartless. Statlander hit the scene, Hart hit behind Brody and left. Nice character work as she cackled from behind her bodyguard.
Pretty good while it lasted. Strange angle though: an attack on Willow no-one saw and an eye she didn’t sell and didn’t pretend she couldn’t see out of. In fact it wasn’t part of the match at all.
Winner: Julia Hart
It feels very WWE finishing the final show before a pay-per-view with a contract signing. Not to mention these two haven’t interacted in three weeks. Swerve waved Nana off from doing the stupid dance – thankyou! This is serious business.
Renee was in the ring as we came back, to introduce Page. Always feels weird when he’s called a former world champ. Doesn’t feel like it. Swerve was already sat down with his feet up on the table. Renee gave Page the contract to sign. Strickland said he’s impressed with the fire Page has shown lately.
But it’s too late. They’re too close to WrestleDream. He asked if Page understood what he’s walking into. His house, the lion’s den, the twelfth man. They couldn’t be more opposite. ‘What’s a farmer to a Mogul? What’s a Buckshot to a Killshot?’
Page said Swerve sounds fired up and should be. He wants to thank Swerve for pointing out some flaws he needed to acknowledge. For eighteen month he’s felt there was a cloud over his head. There was occasional sunshine like beating Moxley and reuniting with the Elite. But he wasn’t as happy as he should be because the cloud kept coming back.
At first it annoyed him. He couldn’t do anything about it. He couldn’t say anything about it. But he weathered the storm and is still here. The cloud and the rain washed something out of him, maybe determination. But the people deserve more from him, the best of him. He deserves it for himself too. So that’s what Swerve will get, ‘the best of Hangman’.
He signed. Swerve laughed very annoyingly (in a good heel way). He said that was ‘pathetic’. Even more than the Broncos last weekend. Crowd booed. Swerve said it could’ve been anybody but just happened to be Page in the position he wants. Swerve said he might have mental health problems because he makes enemies every single day. Then vowed to take Page’s position Sunday. And warned Page that for a guy looking to escape clouds – ‘it rains an awful lot in Seattle’. (Nice line).
They discussed whether Page was given opportunities Swerve wasn’t – Page said he might have been but if he was, he knocked them all out of the park. Swerve should want his spot, but doesn’t have what it takes to fill his boots. Swerve slapped Page then signed, Page stabbed the pen into Swerve’s hand, security (who’d been around the ring the whole time, stormed in to separate them).
Backstage, a bunch of guys dressed totally in black were destroying Jay White. Including one with a devil mask. MJF’s old devil mask. The show went to black. Decent tease to go off the air, might’ve stepped on the previous segment a bit.
Which was largely good. Page covered a lot of ground we’ve heard before but it was nice to see him in an important position for the first time in ages. And Strickland getting primo tv time. Both guys spoke well, both had some good lines, it felt serious. Could do without the ‘spot’ thing, there must be a better way to phrase it. But overall a pretty good segment.
- Andrade El Idolo vs Juice Robinson
- Best Friends vs the Kingdom
- Rey Fenix vs Nick Jackson (International Title)
Added to WrestleDream:
- Wheeler Yuta vs Ricky Starks
- MJF will now defend the ROH Tag Titles in a handicap match
- Nick Jackson vs Claudio vs Bryan Cage
- Darby/Cage sitdown
- Second half of the four-way was fun
- Takeshita’s ‘beatdown’ of Ibushi – Takeshita got his ass kicked – easily, twice. Ibushi looked dumb for turning his back, twice
- Jeff Jarrett – it’s the same match every damn time – so damaging for a product that’s supposed to be an alternative too
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.