Arena: Canada Life Center
City: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Last Week’s Rating: 858,000 overall; 0.29 in 18-49 demo
There was so much still to do with it.
Introduce All-Pacific & All-Indian titles for a King of the Sea unification match aboard the Jericho Cruise, only for the debuting Poseidon to capsize the ship for a no-contest; and that’s before we even get to Shark Boy.
RIP the All-Atlantic Title.
*Montage with ‘highlights’, sad music & a wistful Cassidy staring into his backpack*
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
Justin introduced MJF to a parade of boos. Overcompensating brilliantly for being dumped, Max was accompanied by four ladies, the last of whom he made out with. Streamers and balloons filled the ring as fairly loud ‘MJF’ chants dueled with the boos. Straight to the cheap heat, he noted that ‘Shawn was much better’ than Bret.
He then reminded fans of how he’d beaten Danielson to retain his belt. And now he’s not just a man, he’s ‘Iron Man’. ‘What a rush!’ noted Taz.
The ‘dancing-chair’ music played as several people streamed down to hoist MJF up on a chair. Not for long though. Jack Perry’s music quickly cut through as Max looked aghast.
A ‘Jungle Boy’ chant played. Before he could get a word out, Sammy Guevara’s music hit too. Guess we’re getting a meeting of the Four Pillars. Sammy stole some icing off the cake; Max wasn’t happy. And now had a ridiculous Burberry bucket on. Great stuff.
Of course, Darby Allin quickly followed. A loud ‘Darby’ chant accompanying him.
Max said they were ruining his moment and asked what they wanted. As all three simultaneously yelled ‘I want a title match’.
Perry noted that last time they met was three years ago and Max cheated to win. Going on to get all the opportunities he wanted while he had to wrestle on Dark (kinda remember his title match with Omega being on Dynamite). Perry noted that MJF had never even appeared on Rampage while the other three had all wrestled on Dark
(So Dark sucks and Rampage isn’t much better. Got it).
All the hard-working people back there had to watch while Max took twenty minutes to ‘do the same hokey bulls***’ every week.
Max started countering until Sammy shut him by threatening to turn a re-Bar Mitzvah into a ‘re-circumcision’. Guevara passionately talked about how hard he had to work to get here. The most cheers he’s drawn in years.
He was brought in to be the Inner Circle’s ‘job guy’ and ‘take the bumps for Jericho’ (almost silence for these statements because who the hell wants to hear that?), but he’d overcome that. He got himself to where he’s at, and now he’s gonna ‘get there’ (pointing to the title).
Max again tried to argue back, thanking Sammy for taking time out of his busy schedule getting into brawls in the back. This time Darby cut him off.
He talked about how he’d dropped out of film school rather than change who he was. And maybe he was the worst businessman in the world but AEW gave him something he couldn’t get anywhere else, something you couldn’t put a price on, ‘they let me be me’.
He’s sick of wrestlers whining on Twitter about their contract situations and etc. Including MJF. AEW means a whole lot more to him than it does to any of those wrestlers. And if Max won’t give him a shot, ‘I’m just gonna go complain about it on Twitter’. Before noting that what he’ll actually do is beat MJF’s face in with a skateboard then give him a headlock takeover (a shoutout to their match in at Full Gear ’21).
Max snapped that he’d had it with all of them. Darby said he looked ‘like s***’. Max threw insults at all of them, including ‘Sammy In about seven months I’m gonna propose to a new girl Guevara’. Drawing ooooooohs from the crowd. Sammy fired back that his fiancée had just left him.
After starting well, this was now descending toward comedy and more like a bad reality-show.
Max then made the point that the other three all had vets look out for them while he was ‘ready since day one’. A few weak ‘Wardlow’ chants (poor Wardlow).
‘I’m the only pillar who can actually keep this place up’. He’s beaten all of them one-on-one, so none of them will get a shot. He demanded they all leave and let him eat his cake, pie-facing Perry who took him down, Sammy took out Perry, Darby and Guevara went at it, resulting in MJF landing in the cake.
Maybe I’m just a miserable b****** but this felt too goofy for the world title picture. Darby and Sammy cut good promos (Perry honestly came off like a whiner) but all three were a little too insider (or a lot in Sammy’s case).
Started really well, didn’t end the same way. But I like that they’re involving these guys in the title picture. Despite the up-and-down booking, they all feel like they belong there due to the four pillars thing which we’ve been told now for years.
Footage of Jericho being honored by the city as they pushed the trios main event.
Hangman Adam Page, Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs the Blackpool Combat Club
Backstory: Caught-up in the Page/Moxley feud, Uno was beaten bloody by Mox a few weeks back and what’s left of the Dark Order were left laying by the BCC last week
The crowd certainly didn’t see the BCC as heels despite their recent behavior. Also, Wild Thing doesn’t exactly scream bad guys.
Big pop for Page, Grayson got a pretty good response in his home country. Uno continues to wrestle without a shirt.
Uno blasted Yuta with a boot right away, the two exchanged chops in the corner, the vet getting the better of it until being driven back into the BCC corner. Mox threw forearms then choked the masked-man with his jacket before tagging Claudio for a double-team dropkick to the face.
Back in, Yuta took a cheap shot at Hangman, ate a back body drop and allowed the tag to Grayson who hit a crazy springboard ddt from in-to-out, over Moxley, driving Claudio headfirst into the apron (one of the coolest moves I’ve seen in a long time).
A meteora back inside continuing the attack until being blindsided by Mox but coming back with a uranage. Then a swinging ddt off the ropes onto CC, springboard moonsault with a twist, crowd going wild here. More like Graytson than Grayson, amiright?
A backslide was blocked by Claudio, who then flung Grayson outside as an all-BCC spike-piledriver on the outside brought the break.
Struggling as we returned, Grayson was in the wrong corner, Claudio aiming mocking kicks and blasting the Canadian with an uppercut. Mox back in, another piledriver for two and the first pin attempt of the match.
Taking him to the corner, Moxley flung chops, blasted him with a clothesline but ate a jumping knee-strike, allowing the very hot tag to Hangman, who offered lariats for all, a springboard one sending Claudio outside as he caught Yuta into a fallaway before launching himself onto Castagnoli and drilling Yuta with an off-hand lariat after the strong-arm was blocked.
Great sequence. Crowd hot.
Yuta slipped out of a powerbomb but was caught in another as Uno came off the top with a senton, Claudio wiped him out with an uppercut but ate a discus from Page, Grayson polished things off with a Cactus Clothesline to the outside.
Yuta avoided a Dead Eye and tagged Mox as the two big rivals went head-to-head. Shockingly, a fistfight broke out, Page getting the better, readying a Buckshot until Yuta drilled him with the ring-bell.
The Dark Order checked on Page then fired up and continued the fight against the odds. Faring well until Yuta clipped Uno with a chopblock. Grayson avoided a splash in the corner, launching a diving senton over the buckle to Claudio on the outside as Uno countered a Death Rider into a ddt of his own in-ring. Grayson hopped up-top, Moxley prone, he and Uno hit their combo 450/senton splash in the corner for the closest of twos on Mox.
Then hit the Fatality, Yuta made the save at 2.9. Grayson knocked Mox loopy with a Pele kick, hit a hurracanrana on Claudio for another two (very much Lucha rules here, whoever’s in is legal) until Yuta dragged Uno off the apron. Leaving Grayson alone to eat a pop-up uppercut and a rear-naked from Mox as the BCC bagged the win.
Moxley again refused to release the hold, transitioning into the Bulldog, continuing the assault as Uno tried to make the save, until Silver and Reynolds ran them off.
This was six guys determined not to be outshone by the main event. Very good match interrupted by ads.
And the fact that Grayson is no longer employed while the likes of Jarrett, Lethal and Parker Boudreaux take up tv time, is a crime. And a clear example of why some fans long for the ‘old’ AEW.
Also like the fact that the trios division now seems to actually have teams.
Juice Robinson promo. He asked what Starks was going to do about him planting Ricky’s surgically repaired neck into the mat. Rhetorically. Because ‘you ain’t gonna do jack-diddly-squat’.
Remain unimpressed. Robinson’s promo style is over the top.
They again pushed the main event and the International title match.
Jade Cargill vs Nicole Matthews, Canadian Open Challenge for TBS Title
Backstory: Cargill feels there are no tests left for her, challenged any Canadian
Jaded very quickly. Excalibur noted that it’s just about her two-year anniversary. Question is, how many years until she’s capable of having a solid match?
Renee got in the ring to ask the same question as last week about competition. Jade gave the same answer – ‘Aren’t you from Canada?’ Backing Renee to the corner then asking if that was all Canada had to offer.
Taya Valkyrie’s music hit to a nice pop. Despite insisting she’d be in Cali today, she was indeed in her home country.
Taya drilled Leila Gray with Jaded as Cargill posed on the ramp and Taya laughed.
Valkyrie’s a physical match for Cargill. Which makes a nice change.
WINNER: Jade Cargill
Schiavone backstage with Ricky Starks. Who noted Juice hadn’t done anything in AEW and was part of a group which hadn’t been relevant since 2015. If he wants some, if he wants to bring Bullet Club with him, he can come get some (to be clear, it seemed like a throwaway line, not as if Bullet Club were actually coming in).
QTV with Marshall, Hobbs, some of the Nightmare Factory and a blond Australian lady who mockingly reported that no-one knew who stole Wardlow’s stuff. They then played footage of Bayley’s Ex (legit can’t remember his name & they never told us) breaking into the car and stealing the belt.
And all laughed afterwards (except Hobbs, who only knows mean mug) as QT joked about MJF ‘stealing all his (Wardlow’s) momentum’ last year as the insider hits kept playing. Marshall said ‘Ruthless Aggression’ like Vince McMahon, no idea why. The blonde asked what was next for Wardlow as Bayley’s Ex said ‘Batista but not as good’. QT revealed that he’d stolen Wardlow’s passport. Hobbs finished by saying ‘Welcome to Will’s Word, b****’.
Between he and Wardlow, not sure who I feel more sorry for. This would’ve made the word cringe grimace.
One of the worst segments yet known to 2023.
Jeff Jarrett vs Orange Cassidy, International Title
Backstory: Jarrett attacked Cassidy (with a guitar!!!) after he beat Jay Lethal last week; the All-Atlantic Title now becomes the International Title
Excalibur tried to back-explain the Hobbs/QT relationship (since the previous segment didn’t begin to bother) as Jarrett made his entrance to tepid boos. Cassidy placed the new belt in his backpack only to bring it out again a few steps later as he reached the ring.
There was also a fan dressed as the Shockmaster.
A freshly squeezed chant kicked up as we kicked off, Jarrett landing a hip-toss then strutting. He then strutted again. This man is Jericho-like in his ability to mix up his act.
Cassidy missed the Punch but got the pockets, Jarrett thought figure four, Cassidy kicked him away but came down on his already injured knee (from last week’s guitar shot) after a leapfrog. Jarrett then mimicked Cassidy’s kicks, firing Orange up as he unloaded then introduced Jeff’s head to the buckle for a count of ten.
They were really pushing the whole Shazam thing as Jarrett barged Cassidy off the apron to bring the break.
Not exactly classic AEW so far.
Orange was down clutching his knee as we came back. Satnam Singh flung him back inside as the announcers acted like fire had been discovered. JJ continued to work the knee, the crowd sounded bored. Until he hooked the sharpshooter instead. Bringing a rain of boos.
Orange slipped out into one of his own; Jarrett was right at the ropes.
A sleeper was next as 1998 looked on approvingly. After fading briefly, Orange got the pockets, jawbreaker, sleeper of his own, Singh again interfered, draping Orange across the ropes. Leaving Jarrett to apply the figure four.
Cassidy fought his way free, the two exchanged shots in the middle until Orange missed the Punch again. You’ll be shocked but there was a ref bump and the guitar was introduced. Thankfully, Aubrey marched her way down to disrupt the guitar shot.
Cassidy grabbed the gee-tar, Singh snatched it back, Orange went full Eddie Guerrero, collapsing as if he’d been struck: Singh & Dutt were ejected. Cassidy pulled off a tornado ddt, Jarrett again took the ref, Jay Lethal struck with the Golden Globe after faking an injured shoulder.
Cassidy kicked out.
Trent took out Lethal, Orange went for the Punch, his knee buckled, he fought off the Stroke, hit the Punch, his reign continues/begins, depending on your pov.
What a way to introduce a new title. A hearty brew of mid-90s style and mid-00s booking.
WINNER: Orange Cassidy
Promo video for the trios match. Jericho again put over he and Omega being in the ring for the first time in company history. Malakai again blathered about removing disease from the company. He was right there in the previous match! Where were you?
The Acclaimed music video. Basically just showing them with fans. This is not close to good enough follow-up for the ex-champs and one of the company’s most popular acts.
The Outcasts came out with their own music and entrance vid. Not content with copying the nWo, their colors are black and green. Ruby started telling a ‘story’ about how the ‘grass used to be greener’ in AEW. Until a couple of ‘bitches’ turned up to help ‘house-train’ the other dogs (I think).
Saraya ranted that without them, there wouldn’t be a division. ‘I’m a miracle!’ More ‘neck-beard’ stuff, followed up by ‘stinky tw**s’. (Is that not as bad a word over there as it is here? Because that’s like the worst word you can say in the UK.)
Saraya sounded like she’d run out of stuff to say. So Toni talked about being interim champ. Not the true champ. They’re going after one entitled rookie after the next. The crowd was dying until Toni named Britt & Jamie. Hayter’s music hit and the the duo took down the trio until they stood still for a bit so the heels could take over.
Britt was drilled with Destination Unknown; Jamie a Storm Zero. Riho came down with a bat to chase them off.
Incoherent with little presence or charisma, the heels sounded like even they didn’t believe what they were saying.
The audio wasn’t yet ready as we came back and couldn’t hear the start of a 2.0 promo. Talking sarcastically about the Acclaimed’s music video. Twice the ex-champs have turned them down. They need a reminder of why they should join the JAS, so they should tune in Friday when they’ll be facing the Bollywood Boyz.
Now if that doesn’t do it, they’ll never join up with Jericho.
Rey Fenix humbly accepted Hobbs’ open challenge, talking about how he used to wrestle for free, has won tag and trios titles so now fancies a shot at singles gold.
The House of Black vs the Elite vs the JAS, Trios Titles
Backstory: JAS won last week and declared selves #1 contenders, the Elite disagreed, the HOB said they’d be happy to embarrass both hometown wrestlers (Omega & Jericho)
Should be a belter of a match. But feels a bit hot-shotty throwing Omega & Jericho out there when they’ve never met before (in AEW). Especially with only a week’s notice.
The champs came out first. Understandable given the home-town situation. The Bucks were rocking ‘the Elite’ tees with the logo in the form of the Canadian flag as the crowd chanted ‘Kenny’ relentlessly. Omega went around ringside shaking hands with a huge smile on his face.
Don Callis joined on comms as the crowd chanted ‘Holy S’ before the fight had even begun. Which it did with Guevara facing off against Brody King. Sammy threw a big dropkick which didn’t budge the big man a bit, before posing and being dropped with a chop.
Tag to Garcia as a TiA chant began. The youngster too a victim of a Brody chop as he dived for a tag to the Elite who wanted no part of King. Garcia ate another chop before tagging Jericho to a huge cheer. Malakai joined him, the two circling each other until Omega tagged his way in off Malakai’s back to possibly an even louder cheer.
But the House swarmed the ring before the hometown boys could go at it. Nice tease. Break time.
Jericho was being beaten down by Malakai as we came back but responded with stiff chops and a whip to the corner, both ducked the other’s finish until Jericho went vintage with an underhook backbreaker.
Then tagged Sammy as the JAS launched their pose. Sammy and Garcia worked over Black until the Dutchman fired knees and boots but was cracked by a Sammy enziguri. Nick tagged himself in to run the ropes into his armdrag/tejeiras combo on the JAS, running through the rest of his ‘comeback’ in the HOB corner, knocking Buddy & Brody off the apron, hitting Malakai with a facebuster but being caught on the subsequent moonsault by Matthews and crucifix’d up into a Black knee-strike through the ropes.
Dragging him back in, Black tagged Matthews who cut-off a Jackson tag until eating an enziguri as Omega returned to the ring with a flurry: cross body from the top, Polish hammers, ducking kicks from Malakai, snap-dragon, one for Brody too, Matthews up on the shoulders into you can’t escape. Smooth as hell.
The crowd chanted his name once more.
Matthews freed himself with an elbow, Omega avoided him running in, popping up to hit a hurracanrana and leaving he and Jericho alone in the ring. The HOB again tried to interrupt, forcing the Canadians to work together to eliminate them so they could get to fighting.
Which they did as fists flew until Omega caught a rebounding Jericho with a V-Trigger. But was quickly taken out by Garcia, triggering everyone taking everyone out in a breathtaking sequence until Omega saved Matt from a Matthews reverse-ddt via snap-dragon.
But was swept into the Walls until a superkick party saved him. The Bucks throwing kicks at everyone who entered, but only staggering Brody who rebounded into a double clothesline, leaving everyone down as the final break came.
The Canadians were at it once again, Omega forced to the apron, avoiding Jericho’s springboard dropkick, coming back with a terminator dive, flinging Jericho back in but being grabbed by the HOB, the Bucks about to take to the sky once more until being cut off by Garcia and Guevara, who hit a superplex and Spanish fly respectively.
King then climbed up top, cut-off by Omega who readied a superplex of his own but was fought off. Jericho in to try his luck but faring no better until a step-up V-trigger blasted Brody and the Canadians went to work via double team superplex.
A Code Breaker broke up the bromance for a count of two (and I think the first pin attempt a good ten minutes in) as we cut to the back where the Silver, Reynolds, Hangman and the BCC were brawling (Excalibur said Uno had been taken to the hospital).
Omega and Jericho continued to duke it out, Omega blocked a Lionsault with his knees, Matt Jackson came in to hit locomotion northern lights on Garcia then both he and Guevara. Meltzer Driver ready, Jericho caught Nick into a Code Breaker, Garcia hit a uranage on Matt, Sammy came off the top with a beautiful shooting star.
Brody broke up the pin then tagged himself in to crush Guevara in the corner. Garcia jumped on his back but was shaken off as King launched sentons in the corner on both JAS boys. Then flung a limp Sammy to tag Jericho. The vet facing off against the whole House by himself.
Dante’s Inferno the result, Omega making the save.
Jericho caught Brody with Floyd, Sammy took out the Elite via shooting star to the floor, King just kicked out. Malakai then wiped-out Jericho via heel kick, leaving Garcia to be drilled with Dante’s Inferno, the other HOB members cutting off the ring to ensure the pin and the win.
A crazy match which focused almost entirely on the hometown boys with a smattering of Brody King. Fine for this week. But the HOB need to be kept the focus of the division while they remain champs.
Jake Hager attacked the House as the BCC & Dark Order brawl reached the ring. Hangman was left standing alone against the BCC with the Dark Order taken out. Until the Elite stepped in (slightly behind him) to back him up to a huge pop, honestly maybe the loudest all night. Which makes sense since it’s the longest and best-told story in the company (even if the company themselves aren’t the ones telling most of it).
The BCC thought better of it, bailing as the show ended with Hangman just starting to realize exactly who was backing him up.
Topping off a very good match with some very good booking which highlighted a bunch of different trios involving top stars and a reunion years in the making.
WINNER: The House of Black
- Powerhouse Hobbs vs Rey Fenix, TNT Title open challenge
- 2.0 vs Bollywood Boys
- Taya Valkyrie debut
- Hook vs Stokely Hathaway, no DQ
- More announced on Rampage which has a later start time
A largely good opening segment and two very good matches culminating in a very rare (for AEW) cliffhanger ending. Overcoming a remainder which varied from forgettable to awful.
- BCC vs Hangman & Dark Order
- JAS vs Elite vs HOB
Thanks for reading.