Arena: Entertainment & Sports Arena (Did Jericho buy it?)
City: Washington DC
Last Week’s Rating: 990,000 overall; 0.34 in 18-49 demo
More backstage drama. This is really getting ridiculous. Khan can’t fire Andrade, because that’s what he wants. But he has to do something. And something meaningful.
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
A fired-up Excalibur welcomed us; Justin was ready in the ring. Taz, Schiavone and lastly, William Regal were also bringing us the action: Yuta/MJF kicking us off.
Wheeler Yuta vs MJF
Backstory: MJF interrupted Yuta two weeks ago, beginning his feud w/ the BCC ahead of eventually facing Mox for the title; Yuta did the same last week, attacking MJF
The love for MJF did not continue here, he was booed heavily as he made his entrance, though some fans did chant along as Justin announced him. Regal talked about how announcers and people like Schiavone should be ‘off limits’ for the wrestlers.
Loud ‘Yuta’ chant as MJF ducked the grapple, strutting to the opposite corner. Missing with a cheap shot, Yuta lit him up with strikes, hit a pair of armdrags, then strutted himself as the crowd roared. MJF bit on the bait, storming in and eating a dropkick to the jaw.
With Yuta up top, MJF rolled away, using the ref to send Wheeler face-first to the buckle. Leaving MJF in control. Yuta kept fighting back; MJF kept cutting him off by stomping the foot etc.
Continuing the theme, after a jawbreaker by Yuta he was caught running in, dropped into a backbreaker then hoisted straight back up into a gut-wrench drop. Very smooth. A two count the result as MJF complained to the ref and the ads arrived.
Returning to both guys down, MJF was up first, walking into a cradle as Yuta grabbed a two. Max did all he could to fight off a German, grabbing the ropes, trying to stamp the feet, sending Wheeler to the outside but he reversed his way back in, slipping behind to give Max three nasty landings.
Again Yuta headed to the top; again MJF rolled away, drawing Yuta in and attacking the arm as he headed towards the Salt of the Earth, then snatching him out of the air into a powerbomb/backbreaker combo which brought another two count.
Slaps to the face fired Yuta up as he blasted Max with an enizguri, Max responded with a sunset flip as both rolled in and out of a bunch of one and two counts. Easily double figures. Adding to the total after both slipped in and out of tombstones, both finally snapping up at the same time, landing synchronized clotheslines as both hit the deck.
The crowd loved that whole sequence.
Bryce had reached eight as the pair stumbled to their feet, Yuta snapping off a right, heading to the top again, MJF crotching him or as Taz called it – ‘Yambag Yahtzee’. Joining him up there, MJF set-up for the avalanche tombstone, Yuta slipped out, copying Moxley’s biting atop the buckle, culminating in a springboard hurracanrana, taking Max all the way to the outside, Yuta following with a suicide dive.
Bringing Max back in, the crowd chanted ‘Yuta’ as he again headed upstairs. Max again rolled away, flipping him off: Yuta responded by splashing him anyway, covering two-thirds of the ring. Hammer and anvils followed, Yuta looking for the seatbelt pin, MJF transitioning into Salt of the Earth.
After fighting all the way to the ropes, MJF quickly snatched Yuta in a more highly-torqued version, right in the middle, nowhere to go. Tap out.
Post-match, Yuta offered his hand. Max thought about it, really built it up, seemed about to accept, when Lee Moriarty blindsided Yuta. Max was pissed, screaming: ‘I didn’t tell you to do that!’ But seemingly about to blast Wheeler with the diamond ring anyway, when Regal stood up, slowly and deliberately applying a knuckle duster/brass knucks.
‘You f***** up’ chants played as Max backed-off.
Hype video played for a main event ‘three years in the making’, showing Jericho/Sammy in the early days of Dynamite, Danielson arriving, Anarchy in the Arena, and finally Garcia’s agonizing decision. This was good and something they don’t do enough of.
Cut to Schiavone with the JAS. Hager was wearing that ridiculous purple bucket hat, screaming with all the intensity he could muster that ‘I like this hat!!’ as Menard criticized Garcia for turning down the gift.
Jericho said they’d taught Garcia how to be a sports entertainer. ‘You’re talking about the systematic cheating right?’ Tony interjected.
The Ocho warned Garcia to make the right choice before Sammy – who got easily the most heat on the show so far – threatened to ‘end’ him if he didn’t. Lastly, Jericho vowed to remain ‘The Ocho’ after his match with Danielson next week.
You have to watch Jake Hager mean-mug all the way through this in that hat. Genius.
Jay Lethal vs Darby Allin, One-on-One
Backstory: Both men agreed to fight one-on-one, much to Sonjay Dutt’s chagrin
Excalibur sent best wishes to Bobby Cruise, still recovering from the Judas Effect.
Nice response for Allin as usual as Taz really put him over. Crowd dead as this began however.
In keeping with the tenor of the match, this began very ‘honorably’ with lots of mat wrestling: exchanges, switches, both reversing whips to the ropes, ending when Darby nearly lost his footing but held on to soar off the ropes into an armdrag, a quick pen attempt, both snapping to their feet as things re-set. This was rapid.
Darby offered a handshake, Lethal stamped the foot, monkey-flipping Allin out of the corner, nearly into Paul Turner. Taking advantage, Lethal immediately went to work on the knee, Allin collapsing, into a HOLD, Jay hoisting him up for a suplex, Allin slipping out into a Scorpion Death Drop.
Cool little thing so far that two younger wrestlers have used the moves of their mentors.
Wicked overhead throw by Lethal, Darby landing on his bad knee, to the top for a superplex, Allin fighting back, Lethal settling for a dragon-screw off the top, straight into the Figure 4 after landing.
After fighting out, Allin caught Lethal with an elbow, but then his knee gave out, Jay preparing for the Lethal Injection but Darby propelling him up and over his back, where the vet almost broke his neck on a horrible landing, straight into a Code Red as Darby grabbed two.
Boos from the crowd as Sonjay came to the ramp with Lethal well in control, Allin with a hurracanrana into a pin, Lethal rolling through, a series of pins and counters, into the Last Supper for the win.
In terms of the action, good match with a simple story: Darby was too fast for him; Lethal attacked the leg. In terms of the execution and result, not so good. There’d already been a wild series of roll-ups in the last match far succeeding what they did here for the finish.
More importantly, Darby Allin was beaten pillar-to-post all match and only won because Lethal was distracted.
Post-match, Darby offered a handshake. Again, I’m getting déjà vu. Do they not watch each other’s matches? Not to mention, Lethal had spent the match attacking Allin’s knee after taking advantage of his good nature. Why would Darby want to shake his hand?
It ended with Lethal accepting to Dutt and co.’s chagrin.
WINNER: Darby Allin
An Embassy promo hyping Brian Cage ahead of his match with Wardlow.
Wardlow vs Brian Cage, TNT Title
Excalibur told us who the Embassy and Prince Nana were.
Neither guy could budge the other; neither guy could get the advantage with their fists. Leading to Wardlow taking to the air for a headscissors which brought the crowd to their feet, before Cage responded with a tejeiras.
Even here they were evenly matched.
Wardlow went for the Symphony, Nana took the ref and Cage shook him off as the break beckoned.
We returned to Wardlow running the buckle, grabbing his balance, then flipping back out onto Cage with a beautiful senton. Crowd loving the aerials from these two behemoths. A release German, another, Cage staggering, throwing elbows but eating a belly-to-belly. Before fighting back, hauling Wardlow back inside from the apron via suplex.
Thinking Drillclaw, Wardlow shoved him off, spiking Cage with a spinebuster/chokeslam for two slaps of the mat. Cage responded with two of his own, setting up for a powerbomb but fought off via headbutts before the straps came down, the champ easily hoisting Cage up into four powerbombs to retain his title.
Crowd going wild by the end for what seemed a pointless match at the outset but was turned into a spectacular display of athleticism from two guys who shouldn’t be able to do the things they do. Not to mention, it was much different to most AEW matches. There were no endless chops fests here.
Imagine if it’d been built correctly.
After his victory, the Gates of Agony attacked, bringing Samoa Joe, who got an awesome response from the crowd before finally being overwhelmed by the heels’ numerical advantage. Until FTR’s music blared, the heels heading for the hills as the crowd again lit up. The ROH tag champs had a stare-down with the Gates as they left.
On a slightly sour note, it’s about halfway through the show and I’m beyond sick of talk of the code of honor.
Britt backstage promo. Announced that Saraya would not be wrestling, the doctors hadn’t cleared her. Which officially makes it ‘my house’. Excalibur poured cold water on the idea that Saraya wasn’t cleared.
Toni Storm, Athena & Willow Nightingale w/ Saraya vs Jamie Hayter, Penelope Ford & Serena Deeb
Backstory: Saraya is trying to ‘revolutionize’ the division; Storm & Deeb, Hayter & Willow, have squared off in recent weeks
Hayter got her usual big pop, coming out last among the heels.
Question – why does Athena’s video show the Pyramids?
Hayter faked squaring off with Willow but immediately tagged out, Ford and Athena starting, perhaps the two best athletes in the match. Caught coming off the top, Ford was blasted with a powerslam for an early two.
Then tagging in Serena who got a loud ‘Deeb’ chant and was on top until Storm tagged in, hammering relentlessly at Serena’s spine, following her into the corner with an elbow, all the faces coming in to continue the attack in the corner, culminating with Storm’s hip attack as Taz noted that it ‘looked like it hurt a ton’. Sure did.
Storm turned her back; Deeb attacked with a chop-block. Breaktime.
The two were still squaring off as we came back. Deeb had Toni in a deathlock, both faces came in to help but were planted with stereo suplexes by her and Hayter, with Storm still in the deathlock, wrecking her knee.
An enziguri finally bought Storm a tag to Willow, who ran wild on Jamie Hayter, culminating with a spinebuster. Sensing the danger, Deeb quickly tagged herself back in, going to work on Willow in the ropes, Rebel about to use the crutch until Saraya interrupted. Though it took an age.
Back in the ring, Nightingale hit a pounce on Serena but was dropped by Ford, who was dropped by Athena, who was dropped by Deeb, who was dropped by Storm, who was dropped by Hayter, who was dropped by Willow, who was dropped by Penelope.
Big moves by all, ending with the Matrix/arched cutter by Penelope for two.
Who was then planted with a dropkick to the mush mid-handstand, Nightingale landing a Dr Bomb for the win.
Lots of action, also very busy. Serena did most of the work here, which is never a bad idea.
Immediately afterwards, Baker got in Saraya’s face and was slapped, the two breaking into a brawl as all eight fought, leaving Rebel alone with the former Paige to eat a kick to the face.
This was piled so quickly on top of the match that Willow’s music was still playing. Not what you want for something supposed to be so momentous. It feels like they’re trying to blur the lines with Saraya. If she can wrestle, let us know. Because at the moment, she feels less special every week.
WINNER: Storm, Nightingale and Athena
More tension between Andrade and Private Party, Jose pointing out that they hadn’t come out to help on Friday when Hangman attacked. If they don’t ‘do the right thing’ tonight, they’ll be sued since Hardy’s been contract tampering.
National Scissoring Day w/ Acclaimed & ‘Daddy Ass’
Podium and all that in the ring. Acclaimed put themselves over: best homegrown tag team, AEW stands for Acclaimed Every Wednesday. Bowens explained that scissoring was a handshake, something a real team does. Unlike Keith Lee and ‘Sneaky Swerve’, who were ‘thrown together’.
At which point Daddy Ass took the mic, noting that he’d been asked by ‘City Hall’ to present the Acclaimed with something – a giant gold pair of scissors – that was funny. Caster then got all solemn and asked the crowd to exchange scissors as if in a church service. Afterwards revealing that his dad was on the Washington team which won the SuperBowl. It’s their duty to bring everyone together – ‘a bi-partisan scissor to unite this country’. Genuinely nice message.
All three about to scissor, Swerve’s music hit the airwaves. He wasn’t impressed. Those belts should be on Billy’s shoulders since it was he who won them. Challenged him for next week in Toronto. Bringing a rock from his pocket, he threatened that Bily better not try to scissor him because ‘rock beats scissors.’ Strickland was booed but the crowd still chanted ‘Swerve’s House!’ along with him.
This brought out Mark Sterling, continuing the ridiculous story about getting Swerve fired. Sterling offered to help the Acclaimed. They declined via legdrop to the ‘Yambag’. Before they left, Gunn accepted Swerve’s challenge, then the three finished the interrupted scissor from earlier.
Video Package. Dark Order will face Death Triangle on the anniversary of Brody Lee’s last match. Silver mimicked Pac’s accent.
Tony was with Madison Rayne and Skye Blue. Anna Jay and Tay interrupted, saying that Blue needed a sports entertainer, rather than a wrestler, as a coach, to work on her charisma. Blue responded that they needed to work on their wrestling, so why don’t they wrestle Friday?
Rush vs ‘Hangman’ Adam Page
Backstory: The final two in in the battle royal for an AEW title shot, Page eliminated Rush, who, along with Andrade, has been messing with the Dark Order
Big pop for Hangman. Crowd tonight small but very enthusiastic. Page offered a scissor to start the match. At least he’s watching the other segments.
This was a fight from the get-go between two heavy hitters. Hangman hit the apron looking for the Buckshot, Rush rolled backwards into his pose. Jose’s interference led to El Toro Blanco literally whipping the cowboy on the outside with a cable, then choking the former champ as the ads arrived.
Rush continued his dominance post-break, until caught on a cross body, a fallaway slam his reward as both lay out on the mat, Hangman kipping up but met with another shot from Rush. MJF was shown watching backstage.
Avoiding Rush in the corner, Page landed his springboard clothesline, sending the heel to the outside, planting him with a vaulting cross body, hard landing on that one. Again caught in mid-air, the Mexican ate a DVD for a Hangman two. The fight continued as Rush beckoned Page to bring it, forcing him to the corner, stomping the neck with Page slumped against the bottom buckle.
From where Hangman powered up, Rush still on his shoulders, into a powerbomb/jackknife pin combo.
Loud ‘Cowboy Shit’ chants as Page headed to the apron, thinking Buckshot, Jose again grabbing the leg, Rush meeting him with a headbutt, jumping knee, straightjacket piledriver for a close two. Rush was now bleeding from the nose; Hangman again slumped in the corner. Bull’s Horns on its way, met with a clothesline as Page sprang up, straight to the apron, Buckshot Lariat, 1, 2, 3.
Not the best match but a good win over a credible opponent. Exactly what was needed.
Private Party then emerged, still unsure what to do. The Champ made their decision for them, Moxley arriving with a shake of the head. Loud ‘Moxley’ chants as he entered the ring.
He’d been waiting for this for three years. Three years of watching and studying Page, knowing they’d inevitably meet. They’ve beaten just about everyone there is to beat… except each other. After October 18th, there will be ‘one last man standing’. ‘I’m gonna break your face, choke you ‘till you turn blue, because you’re in the way… of me being the best in the world. I have all the respect in the world for your abilities… I admire you as a person…’
You knew there was a ‘but’ coming.
‘But when that bell rings with the world championshop on the line, I aint got any god damn respect for anything’.
About to leave, Page called him back. If he’d been waiting so long, where was he going?
More ‘Cowboy Shit’ chants as the pair circled. Mox called him a ‘sweet kid, but like a lot of kids around here you say a lotta stupid s*** and your mouth gets you in trouble. This is your final warning. You got thirteen days’.
I f****** love Jon Moxley. He’s so intense, so believable, completely draws you in, makes you think the belt is the most important thing in the world and put over his opponent to boot. Now that’s a promo.
This was fantastic.
WINNER: Hangman Page
Willow with Tony. Challenged Jade, who just happened to be stood two yards away, for Battle of the Belts. Wow, this is really shaping up
Luchasaurus vs Fuego del Sol
About thirty seconds. Cut-throat for the win.
About to dump Fuego on the ramp, ‘Jungleboy Jack Perry’ – which seems to be his new name – attacked with a chair. LS was his ‘best friend’ and yet he ‘chose him (Christian)’ and ‘broke my heart’. So JB is going to ‘break ‘Saurus piece by piece, until I break you!’
Challenged him for anytime and place. Christian picked next week in Canada.
Good fire from Jungleboy. Best he’s been with a live mic. Kept short, which is a good idea.
Pac/trent video package. This was very good. Pac’s so intense.
Le Sex Gods (Jericho & Guevara) vs Bryan Danielson & Daniel Garcia
Backstory: Garcia has been torn between his ‘sports entertainer’ mentor Jericho & his ‘wrestling’ idol Danielson, which side will he choose?
Ian Riccaboni again joined on comms. The faces came out together.
All four debated who’d start. Jericho and Garcia began, the vet offering a sarcastic handshake as the crowd bellowed ‘f*** you Sammy!’. Though on this occasion Jericho did keep things ‘honorable’. At least for now.
Garcia embarrassed Jericho early, riding the vet and slapping him. A pissed Jericho popped up; an exchange of chops followed, Garcia again getting the better until Sammy tripped him from the outside.
Tagging in, Sammy was hit with a dropkick to the knee, Danielson in, cutting off the tag with a dropkick. Very stiff chop, yes! kicks in the corner, the flip out, suicide dive through the ropes onto Jericho, BD then caught Guevara following him with a shot to the face.
Arriving back as Danielson headed to the top, Jericho cut him off, allowing Sammy to hit a top-rope Spanish Fly for two. Grabbing a chinlock, Sammy hit a couple stomps, then Le Sex Gods hit their vintage pose in the middle. A stiff mid-ring collision knocked the wind out of both legal men, leaving Garcia and Jericho to get the tags, both rushing in but slowing as they locked eyes mid-ring.
Finally, a brawl broke out, Garcia ‘stomping a mudhole’ in the corner, following with a running PK, trying for another but Jericho grabbed the legs, looking for the Walls only for the youngster to counter through into the Dragon Slayer. Guevara interrupted with a superkick, then flipped onto Danielson on the outside.
More stiff chops from the vet until Garcia fired back, Jericho avoiding a shotgun dropkick but caught going for the Lionsault, Garcia getting the knees up. So far, everytime Jericho counters, Garcia counters back.
Tagging out, Sammy came off the top but was caught, Jericho trying for the save but snatched into the same hold by Danielson, the two then landing hammer and anvils as the crowd chanted ‘yes!’ for each shot.
Taking Sammy to the top for a double-team belly to back, he flipped out: hitting a Spanish Fly then a kick to the spine for two on Garcia. Hoisted up for the GTH, Garcia grabbed the knee on the way down, into a piledriver for two as Jericho grabbed the leg to make the save.
The two youngsters collided in the middle, both down as Jericho suplexed Danielson through a table at ringside. Sammy again thought GTH but didn’t go for the pin. Instead heading to the top for a shooting star, Garcia again getting the knees up, straight into the Dragon Tamer, Sammy about to quit until Garcia was blasted with the belt by Jericho.
Allowing Sammy to steal the win. Perfect finish in terms of Jericho cheating to beat the guy who’s been complaining about him cheating.
On the subject of which, as much as I enjoy the story of Jericho/Garcia, I don’t care about Ring of Honor or its codes. And they’re relying heavily on fans doing so. They never shut up about it tonight.
WINNER: Le Sex Gods
- Andrade vs Ten, Ten’s Mask/Andrade’s AEW career on the line (this match was removed after Andrade was sent home due to a backstage fight with Sammy)
- Moxley, Claudio, Yuta vs Rush & Private Party (Replacing the above)
- Dark Order vs Death Triangle, Trios Titles
- Anna Jay & Tay Melo vs Madison Rayne & Skye Blue
- Varsity Blonds vs Tony Nese & Josh Woods
Battle of the Belts (Immediately following Rampage on Friday):
- Pac vs Trent, All-Atlantic Title (So Pac’s wrestling twice in two hours)
- Willow Nightingale vs Jade Cargill, TBS Title
- FTR vs Gates of Agony, ROH Tag Titles
- Jericho vs Danielson, ROH Title
- Jungleboy vs Luchasaurus
- Billy Gunn vs Swerve Strickland
Dynamite Tuesday 18th Oct:
- Moxley vs Hangman, AEW Title
Considering this was an AEW anniversary there was far too much ROH. Every match referenced the handshake and the commentators never shut up about the code, which the main event was built around.
Not only do I not care about that company, but I can’t help but feel that AEW’d be in much better shape if Tony Khan had left ROH to Vince McMahon. Much of the frustration backstage stems from a lack of tv time, which stems from the purchase of ROH.
An enjoyable show but boy those extra fifteen minutes made it feel long.
- Jaker Hager in that hat
- MJF vs Yuta
- Moxley’s promo
Thanks for reading.