AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from the Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA. After last week drawing 804,000 & 0.27 in the 18-49 demo. That’s the fifth-lowest viewership of the year.
They recapped last week’s show closer – ‘a senseless assault’ per Excalibur – which saw the Acclaimed beaten down and Bowens chucked through a window. Then MJF running back to check on them and a sarcastic Joe noting he’s running out of friends.
Excalibur said they’ve ‘beefed up’ security tonight. Which made me laugh after the total lack of support for poor Hangman. Fair enough though, they learned from their mistakes and reacted as a company – on-screen – to a big heel attack.
Excalibur finished by describing MJF as ‘increasingly isolated’.
Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta vs Orange Cassidy & Hook
Backstory: Moxley made the challenge last Wednesday, vowing to fight the second they touched down at LAX
There are either very fews fans present or Hook isn’t over in Cali. The faces went to meet the BCC as they made their entrance through the crowd. They brawled with the lights very low so clearly the joint ain’t exactly full.
Hook was dumped back to ringside while Mox choked Cassidy as the BCC took over. Yuta got Hook in the ring so the bell rang. While Mox and Orange continued to brawl among the crowd… little strange.
(And I just shook my head as they announced Hangman and Swerve would have a face to face tonight. Page promised to kill him and piss on his grave. And now they’re being put face to face for a chat!?)
Yuta on top, fans chanting for Mox as he hit the apron, Cassidy still down among the fans. A throw from Hook landed Yuta near Mox, tag, crowd remain dead. Hook threw an elbow strike, German, showing no fear. Mox got a boot up, tag to Yuta, they doubled the youngster with Cassidy still in the crowd.
Yuta threw rights from the mount. A brief ‘Yuta sucks’ chant momentarily broke the silence. Mox back in, spinning suplex leaving Hook down as Cassidy finally made ringside, clutching his ribs. Hook got Redrum, Yuta grabbed his leg from outside, dragging him out, from off-camera Orange smashed Yuta via suicide dive.
Then flung Mox back in to a Hook T-Bone. Cassidy diving ddt off the top, Mox on his knees, Cassidy the new kicks, getting more and more vicious, they only pissed off Mox who blocked a tornado ddt by holding the champ in place until Yuta came in to slam his head to the mat.
Count of two. Ads.
Back to Mox slamming Orange, then mocking the kicks, begging Orange to get up, slapping him, Cassidy shook his head, got the pockets – still on his knees, dropkick as Mox came off the ropes. Seems it was his arm he was selling r/t his ribs.
Both tagged their junior members – yay/boo punches – until Hook backed Yuta to the corner, northern lights out, two only. Hook knocked Mox off the apron, hit a right which rocked Yuta until he did his skin the cat to slip behind the youngster, nice release German, Hook popped up to return the favor, both up to nail simultaneous lariats, both down.
They seem to be making this a feud, talking about how it’s been building for weeks.
Both scrambled up at seven only for Mox to nail Hook from behind, Cassidy took Mox out through the ropes, Hook rolled Yuta up for two, nailed him with a lariat, crowd chanting for him until Mox hit a cutter from behind, readying Paradigm Shift until Cassidy landed a Punch, which Mox totally shook off, simply glaring at the champ then booting him out through the ropes.
Leaving him open to Redrum, Yuta smacked Hook from the apron, Death Rider, Seatbelt pin, win.
Some of the stuff between the youngsters was fun but otherwise a meh opener not helped by a total lack of atmosphere. Didn’t do anything to heighten my interest in Mox/Cassidy.
The announcers talked about Moxley having momentum heading into Full Gear as he eyed a downed Cassidy through the ropes. And the FTW champ being pinned. ‘Nobody saw that one coming,’ said Schiavone. And he wasn’t being sarcastic.
Mox took the mic to say Cassidy was ‘nothin’ and always has been. He’ll grind him to dust and walk out the champ and there’s nothing he can do to stop him. The announcers talked about Cassidy’s confidence being low after Mox just shook off the Punch.
They showed Omega’s team arriving at the venue, walking solemnly in suits and shades with the words ‘Golden Dragons of Dojima’ in the lettering style favored by the video game.
Sorry if you’re not into this, it is a little goofy. For those who are – the main protagonist is known as ‘the Dragon of Dojima’ and when the good guys are about to lay a beatdown they’re always shown walking like this. It was pretty authentic.
To Schiavone in the ring. He laid some ground rules we ‘may have read on social media’. Always a promising start to a segment pushing a major ppv match.
If Swerve or Page touch one another they’ll be suspended for the rest of 2023 (aka the Perry clause) and the match’ll be called off. The crowd booed this.
And Swerve was cheered as he came out. Excalibur tried very hard to solemnly state that this was one of the most personal rivalries in wrestling history; with perfect timing, Nana did his goofy dance atop the ramp. Taz started laughing at it while trying to sell the home invasion. And they cut to fans doing the dance. Yeah, real heated. These are some despicable heels.
Hangman was also cheered but got a lesser pop. Dressed in all black, he marched to the ring, never taking his eyes off Swerve who gave him a cold stare back. Then smiled as Page fronted him. It’s a shame for these two how badly the booking’s let them down because they played this about as well as they could.
Schiavone was asking how Swerve could justify going to someone’s house when Swerve ripped the mic away, Hangman immediately ripped it away from him.
To say Swerve did it because he’s a coward, a waste of life and a dumbass. Dumber than he was ‘two years ago when your dumb ass got fired’ (tee hee you had to come to the sucky second company cause WWE got rid of you – so counterproductive).
He said Swerve didn’t have it in him to be champ. He’s not the man he thinks he is and it’s why his fiancée left him and his kids won’t talk to him (do AEW know how to do anything ‘personal’ without resorting to reality-tv cheap heat?). Crowd ‘oohed’ at this.
Page called him a coward again. He surrounds himself with ‘yes men’. If he wasn’t so stupid he’d know Nana was using him – he gets to come out and do his dance and sell tees – the crowd cheered, Nana danced, they cheered more.
(Do they want to sell feuds and ppv’s here or get gifs on X?)
Page said Nana spends that living buying weed from high school kids – which was a good line that Nana sold well. Page told him after he was done with Swerve he was gonna beat Nana’s ass and steal his weed. Again, was funny, I laughed; should it be funny? Nana was furious, the crowd chanted ‘steal his weed’.
Page again yelled for Swerve to look at him, Swerve’s a child, Page worked with kids for years and taught them lessons. He’ll teach one Saturday – Swerve should never have come into his house and they don’t need cops or anything because Page will be his judge, jury and executioner and send him to an eternity in Swerve’s House at the bottom of hell.
Page went to leave, then scooped the mic up once more, crowd chanting ‘Cowboy Shit’. He’s shown really good fire here.
He said that tonight’s stipulation was that they couldn’t lay hands on one another – ‘but Nana, they ain’t say shit about us,’ – he pounced on him firing rights then smashed through security before nailing one with a Buckshot as Swerve looked very concerned on the ramp.
They stared each other down for a long time, we didn’t just race away to the next seg, which was a nice touch.
So this worked at least for the live crowd. They were fully behind Hangman as it ended. And he performed brilliantly here, Swerve’s facials were good as he went from cocky to concerned. Just a shame the promotion failed to advertise it, failed to stress it during previous tv because they hadn’t come up with it yet, failed to ensure everything around it was sufficiently serious and made sense, failed the performers.
Lexy with Roddy and the Kingdom. Roddy knows who the Devil is, they called Cole and put him on the screen, he asked if Cole saw his match on Collision, the crowd are cheering Strong here. He said MJF is definitely the Devil, Cole got annoyed and said maybe Roddy is, Roddy was appalled and said Cole isn’t here to see everything going on, Cole hung up and they were trying to call him back.
Decent enough to keep the intrigue going.
Red Velvet vs Skye Blue (Eliminator Match)
Backstory: Winner advances to Saturday’s three-way for the TNT Title
I like to imagine Bloods & Crips good-naturedly watching this over a beer.
They showed clips of both ladies winning on Friday to ‘earn’ this – Red only after someone delivered flowers to Ruby Soho mid-match. They tried I guess. Is it better than nothing? Possibly.
Skye worked the arm to fan silence, Red reversed it, Blue got a headlock, switching behind to a hammerlock and waistlock, going for a rollup, Red blocked it as Statlander was shown watching backstage, stroking her belt. Like a Bond villain.
Back to full screen, Red got two via standing moonsault. Then threw rights to the breadbasket in the corner, snapmare out, running dropkick, another two. Blue staggered out of the ring and looked like she was thinking of leaving. But clambered back on the apron to nail a nice draping ddt off the middle rope.
Both got near falls and one counts as they rolled back and forth then were supposed to hit synchronized kicks but neither really made contact, both down. Velvet up to hit lariats, a cazadora that looked like Blue was trying to counter it even though she wasn’t, dropkick against the ropes, a spinning kick that Blue was presumably supposed to duck but missed anyway even though Blue stood still, Red blocked Code Blue, Blue nearly won with a spinning slam out of a full nelson, Velvet countered a step-up knee into a powerbomb for another two.
Blue climbed the ropes, Velvet met her then flung her off via something like a cazadora for a very near fall, Blue hit a thrust kick, Velvet struck back, kick to the shin, Blue blocked a corkscrew kick, hit a really bad looking Code Blue to win – Schiavone yelled out ‘God’.
There were some pretty good counters and near falls but this match was not crisp enough to be ready for tv.
Statlander was basically hissing at the screen as Blue won, Julia was presumably watching too – she was in the dark and we couldn’t see a screen.
Winner: Skye Blue
Miro actually got Dynamite time! He said he loves Perry but she’s bringing a storm, she wants gold and fame and these things drag her under, she brings the worst out of herself and him too. Daniel Garcia will bear the brunt of it on Collision – ‘Can’t wait to see you dance,’ he said with a smile, ‘because you will dance at the beginning but you will be peaceful at the end… I don’t pray to god anymore but you definitely should’.
Killer promo. Baffling why this guy gets so little tv time. My latest theory is that Tony won’t give proper pushes to guys he thinks will go back to WWE when their contracts end. Because it’s hard to see why someone this over and this good would be this ill-used.
RJ City outside Toni Storm’s locker room – which had a ‘Not Toni Storm’ sign on it to craftily prevent the star being bothered. Mariah May was with him, she went all fangirl and knocked. Whenever the door opened things went all 50s, some of it was hard to hear, May was eventually admitted, Storm was posed on a feinting couch.
May said she was honored to be near her. She totally fangirl’d then said ‘I love you’. Storm got irritated at being bothered, May apologized and said she was there if Storm needed her, before leaving.
Storm ordered Luther to contact the ‘Head of Studio Mr Khan’ to book her a tune-up match for Friday. Entertaining. Whatever might May do to win over her idol?
Samoa Joe vs ???
We’re back to no names, entrances or anything else for jobbers. Joe amusedly blocked a bunch of shin kicks, jabbed him to a puddle in the corner, splash, turn around enziguri, crowd solidly behind Joe before he missed a splash in the corner, only to walk away from a top rope dive: lariat, Kokina, night night.
A vehicle for the announcers to talk about MJF needing Joe and whether he’ll meet Joe’s terms while Joe annihilates somebody. Time well spent.
Joe took the mic. He was very over as usual. Especially after he said he comes from SoCal. Since MJF’s in his ‘hood’ he reiterated his offer of ‘friendship’ but time is limited. ‘I am Samoa Joe, and I am inevitable’.
Like this story.
Winner: Samoa Joe
They replayed the announcement of the Continental Classic (AEW’s G1 basically). And Danielson’s promo about it being the type of tournament he’s always wanted. No new details but they needed to at least mention it here. Guess they’ll ramp things up post-ppv.
Young Bucks vs Penta & Komander
Not announcing the Bucks for a show near their home then just chucking them out there to face the Lucha Bros Lite doesn’t smack of good planning. In fact it’s exactly what they did last time a show was nearby.
Bucks pretty over here.
Nick and Komander to start – missed what they did because Schiavone revealed that there’ll be a new signing announced at Full Gear – a wrestler ‘known and respected’ by all AEW fans. Please not Dolph Ziggler. Please. Enough with hiring every person WWE dumps.
Komander countered a tornijo into a cazadora, headlock, blind tags on both sides, Penta missed a legdrop, Matt an elbow, all four in, stereo pumpkicks, kip-ups and coming together. They shook hands before the Bucks took a cheapshot via superkick then shook with one another.
Nick spinning dive to the Mexicans, Penta nailed Matt via superkick, tag to Komander, rocket launched into a cross body by Penta, Komander avoided a rushing Matt but caught into a cazadora/facebuster combo before Matt propelled Nick into a rana on Penta, leaving the latter outside.
Ads. Mental so far.
Nick caught Matt via gamengiri when Komander ducked then sent Matt outside, step-up spinning hurracanrana’d Nick off the top, rope-walk rana’d Nick off the apron into Matt, Penta cross body to both Bucks off the top, slingblade to Matt inside, tope con hiro to Nick outside and a slingblade to boot, superkicks for both inside, Komander to the top, using Penta’s shoulders to step into a diving ddt to both Bucks. Brought the house down.
Penta hit MIP to Matt, Nick broke it at 2.5. TiA from the crowd, loudest they’ve been all night. Easily. Things slowing briefly after a frantic few minutes, Komander to the top, missing a rope walk shooting star into loco northern lights, Penta in too to take a double, that spot’s a little played out now.
Meltzer Driver coming, Komander sent Matt into Nick via headscissors, really nasty spill for Nick, Penta followed up with Fear Factor on the apron, Komander hooked Matt’s legs out of a rana, near fall.
Penta in, Matt down inside, Nick outside, Komander on the apron. LOUD ‘zero miedo’ chant as they paused for breath. Penta took Matt on his shoulders, Komander used it as a springboard into a destroyer on a returning Nick, Penta span Matt off into a powerslam for another close count.
Matt and Penta head to head, open-hands, rights and forearms, Penta nailed a thrust kick, Matt hit back, stereo lariats, pump and thrust kicks to a stalemate, Nick in – superkick for Penta, Komander caught out of a springboard with a low blow, loud boos. Matt hit a Judas Effect, BTE Trigger, win.
I figured they’d go a little easy here ahead of the weekend. No sir. Crazy fun with a nice heel flourish at the end.
Winner: Young Bucks
Backstage, they were with Lexy. Who asked why they cheated in their hometown. Matt said they no longer gave a damn about rules or what people thought. Omega interrupted, questioning behaving like that in front of their friends and family – ‘that’s who you wanna be?’.
Matt said it’s the best version of them. And it used to be the best version of Kenny. Omega hoped they’d ‘keep it clean for the pay-per-view’, Nick that their ‘heat’ wasn’t with him but with Jericho. Matt was a really good dick heel, talking about Omega and Jericho having their second-to-last match together later.
Bringing Jericho in, he told Omega not to waste time with these jackasses: ‘See ya later kids’. Matt got pissed at this and shoved Jericho from behind. Omega broke it up and security stepped in. Jericho was fuming.
This was really good. Subtle and believable.
The Gunns vs Peter Avalon & ???
The dude who isn’t Peter Avalon lost via 3:10 to Yuma in under .30. Juice pretended to pee on the guy.
Colten said if they won that quickly 2-on-2, what’ll happen 2-on-1 vs MJF? Cole’s gone and the titles will be too.
Another vehicle to talk about the MJF situation. Promo work not on the level of last week but fine.
Winner: The Gunns
Another Wardlow package – voicing over him smashing guys in a training ring. He saw fear in the Devil’s (Max when he choked him) eyes, ‘Max your time is running out. As God is my witness, I’m gonna make the Devil my bitch.’
We then cut to the Devil Guy staring dead ahead.
Really liking these. Doing an excellent job rehabbing Wardlow.
Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Chris Jericho & Paul Wight vs Konosuke Takeshita, Karl Fletcher, Will Hobbs & Brian Cage (Like a Dragon Street Fight)
Backstory: The culmination of Omega & Jericho’s feud with Don Callis & his Family
Cage is subbing for Guevara who presumably wasn’t cleared. Congrats on being a father btw, sure he’s a reader.
So in Yakuza games you can use almost anything as a weapon – signs outside restaurants, bikes, traffic cones – a bunch of similar stuff was lying around ringside as Justin reiterated that ‘absolutely anything goes’.
Callis Fam out, all dressed for a streetfight. Takeshita dressed exactly like Goro Majima – the main protagonist’s frenemy/greatest rival in the Yakuza games – with a whacky suit jacket and eye-patch. I’m getting a big kick out of this but understand if it seems goofy. They’ve definitely gone all out. Think Cage is dressed like one of the boxers in the Arena too.
Jericho out in a black suit, shades and a baseball bat. Seems the faces are getting individual entrances – there is a lot of tv time left. Scratch that, Ibushi out with Kenny, they were in their wrestling gear. Callis joined on comms to call it the most co-dependent relationship in wrestling. Wight out last, also in a black suit.
The heels met them on the ramp and we’re off. They even have a backdrop of what looks like Sotenbori (one of the game’s regular settings). Wight almost immediately chokeslammed Fletcher off the stage through a table. Then left. If that’s the extent of his involvement that’s pretty dodgy.
Takeshita and Ibushi going at it in-ring, crowd chanting for the latter who shook off strikes and absolutely blistered the youngster with a stiff kick. Another round kick led to a kintaro crusher as Omega joined.
‘Don, I hate to give you credit…’ began Excalibur, ‘Don’t then,’ deadpanned Schiavone.
Omega and Ibushi hit their stereo moonsaults (Ibushi again had a little trouble). As we cut backstage where Wight was beating Hobbs near a car. Jericho smashed Cage with a crate, he and Omega made liberal use of all the weapons until Takeshita blocked Kenny trying to use a barbed wire bat then introduced his head to a sign.
Meanwhile Ibushi got a bike atop the ramp, peddling slowly with a pipe he gave very tame shots to the heels until Cage lariated him off. Again, they’re being very true to a lot of the game but it’s very whacky. And that was incredibly lame.
Backstage Hobbs flung Wight off a stack of wood onto the hood of the car. Big props to Wight for taking a bump like that in an effort to get the youngster over. Especially in his physical condition.
Takeshita’s clearly a fan of the series because he was now wielding the bike like a weapon in exactly the way they do in the games. Wight was being checked over backstage as Takeshita dropped Ibushi onto the bike via brainbuster, looked at least as painful for the giver.
Takeshita was now brawling with Jericho backstage, ddt on a sofa. Wight still being checked and prepped to be moved. Omega setting up a table at ringside. A now-recovered Fletcher joined things, we didn’t see much as they kept cutting every few seconds. Omega being doubled by Fletcher and Cage as fans chanted lightly for him. The heels double-suplexed him onto a pallet and got two with the first pin of the match.
Fletcher got a beer bottle, Omega kicked free of Cage who was holding him, vaulted over, no idea how he didn’t hurt his leg on that landing, he’s incredibly flexible. Omega now took the bottle and whacked Fletcher with it as he rebounded off the ropes. It seemed Kenny cut his hand doing that.
Takeshita climbed some vending machines, dove off into a waiting Jericho who sprayed him with an extinguisher then hit a Judas Effect. Omega and Ibushi were about to nail Cage when Hobbs returned and took them out. Tree slam to Kenny, a bleeding Fletcher still down at ringside.
Crazy spot followed as Cage – stood on the apron – hauled Kenny in-to-out and through a table at ringside. Hobbs hit a spinebuster to Ibushi as more ads arrived.
Jericho was now in the ring, codebreaker to Hobbs as everyone took out everyone, leaving Fletcher standing, ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’ chants from the crowd, he and Ibushi fought on the apron before Ibushi was nailed with a piledriver off it onto a sign propped on a table propped near a bunch of chairs.
Jericho struggled to his feet, Hobbs missed a lariat, took a v trigger, Judas Effect, got to his feet though staggered into the ropes. Where the faces taped him to the top one. Then taped his mouth shut. Schiavone said he wished it were Callis. As Omega worked over Hobbs with various weapons including another bottle, Cage came in to work over both faces, weak pump handle facebuster to Jericho because to hit it properly he’d have landed on Omega’s legs.
Omega slipped behind, v trigger to the back, Jericho whacked Cage with a bat, into a poisonrana, v triggers for he and a defenseless Hobbs, One Winged Angel to Cage, no-one kicks out.
Lot of big, dangerous spots; lot of goofy stuff, went a bit long. Divisive I imagine.
Jericho, Omega and Ibushi celebrated. Wight now forgotten about.
Winner: Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi, Chris Jericho & Paul Wight
MJF and Jay White have promos on Rampage. Storm will face Sakura.
MJF came out as the announcers talked about him being surrounded on all sides. They’ve kept up that story all night. Loud chants for the champ. He said that his past keeps catching up to him and no matter how much he tries to better himself, whenever he lets somebody in, they get hurt (which means they’ve totally changed from how the story started given that Jay White was the victim, and also makes me think MJF is the Devil).
Sometimes he feels cursed. So he apologized to the Acclaimed, the same way he did to Cole for getting caught in the crossfire of his life and hoped they got better. All he’s ever wanted to be is a world champion and he made it to the top of the mountain. But the air at the top is thin. And lonely. And there are men climbing on all sides to shove him off.
And he’s afraid he could lose everything he worked for. And that he’s going to do to the fans what he did to Cole and the Acclaimed, let them down. A weak ‘He’s our scumbag,’ chant started and built a little before dying out, fans either didn’t care or didn’t believe him.
The old him would’ve turned and run but he won’t now. He may be afraid but you’d better send an army to get him off the top. Crowd chanted his name.
He addressed Jay White to say he has a chance to prove he’s earned the belt he’s been carrying around. But he doesn’t think White can, he doesn’t think anyone can, ‘because I’m better than you and you know it’.
He lastly had a word for the man who stole his mask and ‘hired those goons’. He’s going to find out who they are and there’ll be hell to pay.
About to leave, Jay White’s music interrupted and the Kiwi hit the ramp.
He told MJF to stop embarrassing himself by trying to play the hero. He’s a villain, always has been, always will be. MJF’s tried to convince us otherwise before but ‘you are the Devil aren’t you’. He repeated that Max isn’t a hero, he’s not the people’s hero, he’s their scumbag. And they’ll drop him because he means nothing to them but that’s perfect because they mean nothing to Max. ‘You haven’t changed’. He knows, Max knows and the fans know that White’s better than him and at Full Gear ‘you will breathe with the Switchblade’, he did the two words thing but the words were ‘Get ‘im’.
And BCG attacked from behind. Max fought them off till deciding to pose in the ropes – ‘Don’t do that, don’t do that Max,’ advised Taz. Smart man. Robinson decked him with a Left, 3:10 to Yuma followed, White hit a Bladerunner, Juice counted the mock pin.
The heels posed atop his body. Decent angle. Joe was shown watching backstage.
Though if MJF isn’t going back heel, they’re doing a horrible job stopping him looking stupid.
Back-to-back pretty good episodes. Could’ve pushed the rest of the ppv a bit more.
Next Collision (Friday, 8/7 central):
- Miro vs Daniel Garcia
- Rush vs Dax
- Soho & Saraya vs Statlander & Shida
Added to Full Gear:
- Skye Blue added to TBS Title match vs Statlander & Julia
- A new recruit will sign their contract
- Bucks/Penta & Komander
- Angle with Jericho and Omega
- Joe/MJF story
- Wardlow package
- Not a criticism of the guys, this Page/Swerve thing’s been a mess
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.