AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from the KFC Yum Center in Louisville, KY. After last week drawing 774,000 & 0.24 in the 18-49 demo. That demo ties the lowest since mid-2020.
In what was a bad week for ratings. Totally unrelated, Tony Khan has an ‘important announcement’ tonight. About the rising cost of macadamias or something.
They opened by recapping last week’s main event tag and Claudio threatening to ‘hurt’ Cassidy for what happened to Danielson. Then recapped the AEW Title match between Max and Omega.
Before going immediately to Renee backstage with Max. MJF was all joke-y. Renee mentioned he needed to find three partners for later and has a lot of enemies. Max has a list and hopes there are three ‘who aren’t complete a-holes’. But wants advice from his ‘brochacho’ Adam Cole on video chat. Cole, who’d kindly interrupted building a bomb in the woods to take the call, was all smiles.
He said he was ‘hangin’ in there’ but put over Max for being the longest-reigning champ in company history. He’s frustrated he can’t be there for him since he has everyone gunning for him. MJF vowed to retain their tag titles. Max left and Roddy and the Kingdom rolled up with the usual yelling. Strong asked if we were still pretending Max isn’t the devil, Cole ended the call.
The man in the mask then looked into the camera.
So the same as last week. Would have liked this setup a lot more if MJF had y’know, mentioned his title. Vowed to get it back. Sounded serious. Not smiled and joked.
Claudio Castagnoli vs Orange Cassidy (International Title)
Backstory: Castagnoli pinned Orange last week in a tag and wants vengeance after his teammate Danielson emerged from it with an injury
They explained Danielson’s injury as Orange made his entrance. A stern, serious Claudio marched straight to the ring (can you have a word with Max CC?). Yuta in tow.
An aggressive Claudio went right for Orange, the latter ducking and dodging until being snatched into a big powerbomb. Scoop slam next, leaping stomp, running boot to the face, aggressive knees to the gut, Cassidy left in a crumpled heap in the corner. Claudio doing exactly what he said he was going to.
Cassidy was whipped to the corner, slipped to the apron, whacked the Swiss’ head against the buckle for ten but was caught off the top into a backbreaker right back up and twisted round into a chestbreaker. Dude strong.
More knees, Cassidy left on his as Claudio aimed chops until the champ dropped off the apron. Claudio threw him back in, Orange rolled across and out the other side, Claudio threw him back in, rinse and repeat. No messing around from Claudio who met him with a running lariat.
Orange slipped behind to shove Castagnoli to the buckle, tope suicida, a second – very slowly performed – was caught and the champ was dropped against the apron out of a military press. Hook came out – complete with backpack – to confront Yuta and both were sent backstage.
Claudio put Orange on his shoulders and casually carried him back up the steps to the ring, up the buckle too, where Cassidy hit a few shots, tried a sunset bomb, Claudio blocked it, hauled him back up into a delayed suplex from upstairs, keeping him there a good ten seconds. So impressive the crowd cheered the heel.
Ads. Really good start, Claudio’s style and demeanour match his promises from Saturday and his pissed-off character.
The beating continued on our return though it was only p-in-p as they showed Hook and Yuta continuing to argue backstage and Hook being ejected from the building after putting his hands on an official. Like, that’s pretty much literally what he did from what was shown.
Claudio seemingly had missed a charge in the corner, Cassidy dropkicked him into the ringpost, kipped up, Claudio outside, Cassidy hurled himself through the ropes into a tornado ddt on the ringside mats. Back inside, to the top, Claudio caught him off the top again, seeking a powerbomb, Cassidy countered to stundog millionaire, looking for another tornado ddt, Claudio countered into the Giant Swing which got a big pop.
Right down into the Sharpshooter, middle of the ring, Cassidy nearly got the ropes, was dragged back, nearly tapping as he looked to counter the hold, finally getting onto his back only for Claudio to transfer into a crossface. Wrenching back, again dead center, Cassidy shaking his fists so as not to tap, he hooked the leg for a two count but was smacked by a Claudio lariat as they got to their feet.
Hammer & anvil to boos, Claudio went for the Ricola Bomb but Cassidy went limp. Claudio hauled him up by his jeans, went for the bomb again, Cassidy again looked to counter into Stundog, Claudio blocked it by catching him into a sleeper, lifting him off the mat and swinging him around while still in the hold. Crowd reacted big to that too.
The champ just about out, the hands nearly dropped, he got the pockets instead, kicked off the buckle, rolled through, popping up to hit an Orange Punch, Claudio stayed on his feet, Cassidy hooked and hit Beach Break, Claudio rolled outside to avoid the pin.
Ref’s count at nine when he made it back in, Cassidy slumped in the corner, Claudio down in the middle, Cassidy to his feet – the new kicks which got progressively faster and stiffer, down into stomps, running punt, Punch coming, Claudio blocked it, looking for a Rainmaker, Cassidy slipped free to land a tornado ddt, the Swiss just kicked out.
Cassidy to the corner, readying another Punch, he rushed Claudio who popped him up into the air where Cassidy hooked a hurracanrana to win.
Excellent opener. The story was that Claudio was pissed and wanted revenge and he wrestled like it, beating the crap out of Orange until the champ just escaped with his belt.
Cassidy still in a heap on the ramp, Wild Thing interrupted as Moxley stomped through the crowd. Cassidy ran into the ring to face him and was pounded down. Endless shots from the mount. Security finally came out but were fought off by Mox and Claudio. The beating continued until Claudio finally dragged Moxley away. Crowd chanted for him as he left up the ramp.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Backstage MJF continued his search. This time he knocked on Kenny Omega’s locker room. Jericho answered, Max asked if Kenny was in, Jericho just shut the door. Max left, Wardlow appeared from out of nowhere, grabbing him by the neck and shoving him against the wall.
Max looked terrified as Wardlow said ‘You took everything from me, now I’m gonna take everything from you. When you least expect it.’ Then left. A few Wardlow chants in the crowd as Max coughed and spluttered, searching for breath.
He slammed the list down and broke his clipboard so was going to get a new one when two ‘scissor’ fingers appeared around the corner. Big pop from the crowd. Caster again asked him to team, he again walked off, Bowens again yelled ‘Dammit Max!’ at Caster.
And I’ll ask again, why are Gunn and Bowens up for this when they totally weren’t only a couple weeks ago?
Moxley backstage promo. He said Fenix sacrificed his body just to put him down for three seconds and Cassidy ‘picked up the scraps’. He showed Cassidy respect when no-one else did, allowed him to leave the ring under his own power in Chicago. He’s ‘not doin’ too good’, Cassidy might just be the wrong guy at the wrong time but he’s gonna beat him to within an inch of his life at Full Gear ‘with my bare hands, just because I can’.
Are they heels again?
Mox’s promos bottom out at ‘good’. This was about that level.
Hangman Page & the Young Bucks vs Gates of Agony & Brian Cage (ROH Six-man Titles)
Did they advertise this cause I wasn’t aware of it? Anyway, after Swerve broke into his home and threatened his infant son last week, Hangman posed and did the routine atop the ramp to Carry on My Wayward Son while Strickland’s minions were right there in the ring. An angle like that required Page to be, well, like Claudio.
We should’ve had an early promo or him storming through backstage trying to find Strickland or vowing to beat his minions so badly Swerve has to come out and face him (Angles to promote matches!? Why, the very idea). Instead we’ve got scissor comedy.
Nana wasn’t at ringside after last week. The announcers asked whether Page would be able to resist going after him if he was. Evidence suggests he would.
He and Kaun started things off, Page beat him down in the corner then knocked the other two off the apron. They just waltzed in and whipped him to the ropes, the Bucks cleared them out the ring with dropkicks, Page knocked Kaun out with a springboard lariat, the faces hit dives to all three.
Kaun and Page back to it, Nick tagged in, the faces all walloped Kaun in the corner, the other heels still down. Matt and Page held Kaun in the ropes for Nick to land a senton.
Page got the tag, fighting off both Gates, lariat to Kaun, Page stopped to pose then clotheslined himself and Leona over to the outside. Then landed a pop-up powerbomb to Kaun back inside. Buckshot was coming when Swerve yelled ‘Whose House?’ over the mic. Then said last week he was at Page’s house. Page ran after him, tagging Nick. Who was surrounded by the heels. He fought off Cage and Leona until a Cage lariat caught him.
Out-to-in suplex from the apron, Matt scrapped with Kaun but he was now fighting three-on-one. And was spiked with a double chokeslam, crowd dead with the heels on top. A powerbomb, knee strike, face-first slam to Nick got the win. The crowd booed like the Dark Order were beating down the Elite again.
Really liked Swerve’s performance in that angle last week but this hurt the angle because Page acted like it was any old Wednesday: Claudio needs to give a class in how to wrestle pissed off. Backstage, Page finally got to Swerve but they were immediately separated. In the ring, Matt Jackson threw a fit, smacking a chair against the ringpost.
Winner: Gates of Agony & Brian Cage
Backstage, MJF thought about knocking on Samoa Joe’s door but thought better of it. He then wrote ‘EMO BITCH’ on Darby Allin’s placard. The Acclaimed were waiting behind with a sign saying ‘PICK US’. Max walked off.
In the ring, Schiavone introduced Adam Copeland who got a huge pop and milked it. Schiavone asked about him being confronted by Sting and Darby last week. Copeland asked the crowd to give it up for Tony then said if fans knew ‘all the hats he wears backstage’ they’d cheer even louder. ‘Tony must’ve slipped him a $100 bill’ deadpanned Excalibur. Great line.
Copeland talked about him and Sting going a long way back. They’ve talked for years because they’ve had similar injuries and been there for each other. And thinks Darby Allin is one of the next big stars in wrestling. Then said he knew what Tony was really asking was if he’d team with them at Full Gear.
Christian out to interrupt with Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne. He promised to retire Sting at Full Gear after already ruining Darby Allin’s arm. He reminded Copeland of his neck problems and suggested he ‘back down… right now’. Or he’d ‘snap your neck’ and leave Copeland in a wheelchair. His kids’ll have to wipe the drool away for the rest of his life.
Cage saw this ‘wasn’t sinking in’ so sent his goons who Copeland quickly dispatched. Meanwhile Cage had snuck in, Copeland caught him but kindly stood still for ages so Luchasaurus could attack from behind with a lariat to the neck. Wayne hit Wayne’s World, again targeting the neck.
They were readying a con-chair-to when Sting’s music led he and Darby to the ring. Allin went right after Cage, Cage quickly turned the tables and pounded Allin in the corner. Copeland was waiting though, nailing him with a Spear. Copeland’s finally angry I guess: the threat, promise and horrible words weren’t enough but when you bring lariats into it… gametime. Copeland told Sting and Allin he was ‘your man’ at Full Gear.
Couldn’t care less. Already so bored of Copeland and this E&C story.
Tony Khan with Nigel McGuinness. It’s the start of the holiday season – his gift for fans is the announcement of next year’s All In, August 25th 2024. They go on sale next month but you can sign up for early access at ticketmaster.co.uk. McGuinness went on and on about Wembley and told the story – again – about being at Wembley in 1992. Has a single one of these announcements ever met the hype?
Matt Menard & Angelo Parker vs Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho
Backstory: Seemingly Callis has recruited 2.0 to attack the faces
Unless Callis is clearly using the former JAS-ers, their involvement diminishes the Callis Family. Significantly. They’re a comedy act and very much a lower card one; the Family (excepting Sammy on occasion) are all business.
Hager out with 2.0. The Callis Family stood behind the announcers as Callis joined. We waited round while fans sung Judas for the millionth time. Omega seemed to get a much bigger pop. After showing highlights at the start, Taz got a sentence out about the AEW Title match from Saturday and that was the end of it.
Excalibur told us the faces were called the Golden Jets but not why. Classic AEW.
2.0 yelled that Jericho didn’t know what he had. This match was so important that they shot the announcers while Excalibur made a joke at Callis’ expense. Then rushed to a break.
Back to Omega chopping Menard, tag to Jericho, he ran through Parker, axe handle off the top, big pop for the Ocho as he worked the crowd. Excalibur continues calling them Golden Jets without explaining why. Jericho springboard dropkicked Menard off the apron, Codebreaker to Parker, Menard broke the pin. Omega in, snapdragon to Menard, V Trigger to Jake Hager who was halfway through the ropes into the ring.
Jericho and Parker the legal men, Menard hit Jericho with the bat as he went for a Lionsault, Jericho kicked out. Parker was handed the bat and swung it – all of this while Aubrey just watched on. He swung wildly, Jericho ducked, Judas Effect, win.
Excalibur sold this as Parker risking a DQ to do Callis’ dirty work. And will not shut up about Golden Jets. It’s like they’re trying to make fun of you if you don’t know. Which is the opposite of their job.
Winner: Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho
Don Callis Promo & Match Setup
Callis gave the two credit for being smashed by his guys but still coming back. Maybe they need to finish this ‘on the street’. He challenged them to a streetfight in two weeks for Dynamite. Then called them ‘dummies’. Jericho made fun of that. Omega did too – Omega said none of this was about rules, it was about hurting them, so yeah they accept. But he’s got someone to help him – Kota Ibushi. Kyle Fletcher is just randomly with the Family now. So Callis said there were four of them including Sammy who wasn’t there and the faces only had three.
Jericho then brought out his friend who is bigger than Hobbs. Callis insisted no-one was bigger than Hobbs. Jericho said Hobbs is big but not a giant. Paul Wight came out. Kyle Fletcher – who was being pushed as a real up-and-comer in October – ran at Wight and was dropped with a single punch.
Was already thinking this was a match we’ve seen. Adding Paul Wight certainly doesn’t make it better.
Renee was with Omega and Jericho in Omega’s locker room. The Bucks were in the background and interrupted. Matt asked what was the point of the Elite getting back together was if they don’t have each others’ backs. Then asked who ‘let this prick’ (Jericho) in, mentioning what Jericho did to their dad a couple years back (he also turned face about two weeks after annihilating that middle-aged man).
Jericho goaded the Bucks about losing their titles and warned them not to talk about him like that. Omega said it was ‘enemy of my enemy’ stuff. Matt was fired up, left with Nick and told them to ‘enjoy our locker room’. None of them seemed concerned about their friend whose home was just invaded.
Not into this either. Cannot stand constant infighting. In two years’ time, whatever, but they’ve only been back together about six months. Guess a tag between these four would be fun.
Hikaru Shida vs Willow Nightingale (Women’s Title)
Y’all didn’t know I had pull like this huh? Well I got all the stroke around here, you slapnutz are… crap I’m turning into Jeff Jarrett. Ehhhhnyway, this is just what’s needed after two sub-par female clashes.
Grapple to the ropes, clean break. Excalibur had to say John Cena’s name pushing Wipeout and they joked a little about it. Willow slipped behind and bagged two via rollup, smashed Shida twice to the ground, a third time after Shida tried to fight back, low cross body, two. Shida to the corner, crowd absolutely silent as Willow attempted a whip. Shida reversed it but was caught onto Willow’s shoulders, Shida slipped behind, standing switch, Shida bridged Willow to the apron and knocked her off with a weak knee strike. Diving cross body off the apron brought the break.
Shida blocked a suplex into one of her own. For two. Shida running boot in the corner, Willow cartwheeled out of a whip, reaping enziguri, hip attack in the corner, lariat, high boot, spinebuster, two. Hard to get into this with so little atmosphere.
Shida threw a right, Willow responded, Shida threw a knee strike to the arm to block, big elbow strike but Willow knocked her down via lariat, missile dropkick from the middle. Shida popped up to hit one of her own, both down.
Soooo quiet as Shida went upstairs, Willow cut her off, looking for a DVD from the top, Shida fought it off to just about pull off an avalanche Falcon Arrow. Willow kicked out immediately and the crowd briefly woke. Another strike exchange until Willow landed a pounce, crowd again making a little noise as Willow fired up, straps down, DVD, close count.
Dr. Bomb countered into a rana, Willow came back with a big lariat, exchange of rollups up into a big knee strike from the champ, Willow kicked out. Katana coming, hit, win. Didn’t Abadon kick out of that? Not as good as I’d hoped but a lot better than Shida’s last two matches. Not that either of those were on her.
They shook and hugged after the match until Toni Storm came out. Shida looked exasperated. Apparently this is Storm ‘stealing the spotlight’ from Shida. Shida slapped the shoe out of the Butler’s hand then nailed Storm with a running knee as she was prancing on the apron. She chased Storm backstage. Continue to wonder what exactly Toni did to earn this shot.
The lights then went down and Julia Hart appeared behind Willow.
Willow wasn’t dumb; turned around prepared, smiling. Julia offered her hand, Skye Blue came down and stared down Hart. Hart nodded, Blue pretended to go after Willow but turned and sprayed Hart with some blue mist. Nice, two babyfaces who aren’t dumb. Blue’s clearly been ‘playing possum’. Julia screamed ‘Curse you!’ from outside the ring.
Winner: Hikaru Shida
Backstage MJF was still by himself. The Acclaimed & Billy rolled up on him, Bowens jammed their line in as usual. Caster said they’d team with him if he’d scissor them and wear what was in a garbage bag he handed to him. MJF looked inside, was disgusted and said he had one more group on his list. Which was Jarrett and etc. They were right behind and cackled and said ‘C’mon MAX’.
This is for the world champ to get his belt back right?
Renee was about to do something when Strong and the Kingdom rolled up to call Adam Cole live on air. Strong told Cole Max hadn’t picked them and called him a jerk. Cole told him to ‘shut up’.
Main event’s next! Boy I’m psyched for this super serious attempt by the babyface world champion to regain his prestigious title.
Said it before, sure I’ll say it again, AEW have no idea when to leave the comedy alone. Even if it’s the funniest thing ever, sometimes it just isn’t the time or place. Not that any of this was funny.
MJF, the Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs Bullet Club Gold
Backstory: If MJF’s team wins, he gets his world title back after Jay White stole it
BCG out first. They haven’t been mentioned all show. No promo time to taunt MJF or push the match, nothing.
The Acclaimed’s music hit, Caster cut a really nice rap in both flow and content. So presumably Max has scissored them and put on the outfit? Yes was the answer as he came out in a ‘Scissor Me’ tee, pink trunks and pads and a pink scarf. They pushed World’s End at this exact moment. While their world champion was knee deep in comedy.
Juice and Max to start, Max demanded White, the New Zealander tagged in but fled to his corner when Max attacked (I’ll use Max for MJF and Caster for Caster FYI). Juice back in, Bowens too, Bowens landed a thrust kick and his over the shoulder legdrop. Series of chops and strikes, thrust kick to finish, Juice fled to tag Austin. Bowens tagged his dad. (Bowens=good.)
Austin hit a few jabs but no-one ever gets one over on Billy. Ever. He sent a bunch of heels packing until only Jay White was left standing. White said he was the Gunns’ father now, did the ‘Suck it!’ motion and hit a few chops. But the 60-year-old ignored them to knock down the early-30s #1 contender and send him packing outside.
With the heels booted, the Acclaimed wanted their scissor. Max rejected it to boos.
Back to Bowens in the heels’ corner. Colten missed a corner splash, Bowens tagged Billy once more, double elbow strike and scissor elbow drop. For two. This was all MJF ‘desperately wanting the title back’, per Schiavone. They held Colten for Scissor Me Timbers, the ring was cleared again, the other faces wanted the scissor from Max. Have BCG become a lower mid-card act and I missed it? Did they get in a backstage fight?
White in, he flung Caster outside where the jackals circled. The other faces tried to help but the ref intervened while the heels worked over Caster. Then threw him back in, White threw him right back out, repeat the whole thing with the faces and the ref. White got a pair of two counts when Caster was flung in for the second time.
Crowd chanting for the champ now as Caster was immediately flung back out on the heels side for the third time in as many minutes. Bowens and Billy were dumped over the barricade while they ran down the ppv. Jay White preened in the ring, Max just watched him from the opposite apron.
White worked over Caster while MJF watched until finally he tagged MJF. White fled outside while Max ran through the rest of BCG while slams. Max chased White round the ring only to run back in and be tripped by the Gunns, he countered 3:10 to Yuma into a ddt then hit his Kangaroo Kick. As White slipped behind, Bladerunner, win.
WHAT A STUPID BABYFACE. AN ABSOLUTE MORON. He could’ve got his belt back but lost it cause he hit a Kangaroo Kick. Perfect synopsis of this match. Which the crowd had fun watching but was just total comedy. This is exactly why they can’t sell tickets. Everything’s a joke.
The heels tried to attack, the Acclaimed ran them off, leaving White and MJF in the ring, White prepping a belt shot. Caster shoved Max out the way and took the belt shot. MJF was concerned and checked on Caster before yelling at the BCG for hurting the guy he’s been best friends with for fifteen minutes.
Max was going to leave; Billy totally seriously, all fired-up, demanded MJF scissor with them after what Caster had just sacrificed. I’m in disbelief. He did and Caster crawled to MJF and hugged him round the waist till Max shoved him away.
I may have got a little carried away praising Collision but did really enjoy the show; this peaked with the opener.
- Acclaimed 69 Days as champ’s celebration
- Darby Allin vs Lance Archer (‘WOW!’, said the announcers at this)
- Swerve Strickland vs AR Fox
- Jericho, Omega, Ibushi & Wight vs Callis Family
Added to Full Gear:
- Toni Storm vs Hikaru Shida (Women’s Title)
- Hangman Page vs Swerve Strickland II
- Jon Moxley vs Orange Cassidy II (International Title)
- Story of Skye Blue suckering Julia Hart into believing she’d been turned
- Claudio vs Orange
- Continuing Wardlow story – feels like he has an edge now he’s allowed to speak and MJF sold really well for him
- Not sure I’ve ever seen a show-long angle built around comedy
- Edge, Christian, Sting, Big Show, Jericho, Billy Gunn were all prominent on this show – not a single one made a younger guy look good (to be clear – criticizing the booking, not them)
- A man in a devil mask who just looks into the camera once a show never to be referred to again is not a story – there are supposed to be developments, hints, discussions – whatever it takes to make people curious; I keep forgetting the storyline exists
- They didn’t sell the severity of that Strickland angle
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.