Arena: Golden 1 Center
City: Sacramento, CA
Last Week’s Rating: 833,000 overall; 0.27 in 18-49 demo
God damn, that trios match. Comfortably better than any of the best of seven. The House of Black need to be on tv every week. And we need Kenny vs Matthews & Kenny vs Malakai asap.
Christian/Perry was also very good. Kudos to Cage for the turtle-neck singlet. Though the way they lowered the coffin was laughably ‘AEW’. Rush, rush, rush, quick! Next segment!
Mox vs Hangman was just way too bloody for me. Knew there’d be some but hoped it’d be dessert rather than the entire menu. Moxley deserves a ton of credit for the finish, frantically tapping in a match where he had ‘home court’. Couldn’t have done more for Page.
The wrestling’s there, now we just need the stories to go along with it.
It’s Wednesday night, it’s Dynamite. Let’s go.
The show’s opening was all highlights from Revolution instead of the usual intro.
Jay Lethal vs Orange Cassidy, All-Atlantic Title
Backstory: Long story short – Lethal & co. attacked Cassidy’s friends recently on Rampage
After all the matches AEW refuse to repeat, they choose this for a third go-around? Per Tony Khan it’s done ratings in the past. If people wanted to see Jay Lethal that badly, ROH wouldn’t have been sold.
Both came ‘heavy’, but all of Lethal’s entourage were quickly ushered backstage as we were shown highlights of their previous encounters. There was then the weekly technical screw-up as the announcers started doing-so over the loudspeakers.
Cassidy went right to a headlock as they continued pushing him as the ‘hottest’ wrestler in the company. He kept working the headlock in between brief sequences. Lethal bailed outside for a good minute.
From how tight the cameras were, they cannot have pulled a great crowd here.
Both countered in and out of big moves: Lethal Injection… Beach Break… until a second Lethal Injection attempt saw Cassidy boot Lethal in the arm. Which he continued working over in the corner as Lethal headed outside once more. Cassidy was caught on a dive but slipped out to fling Lethal into the ring-post. Lethal reciprocated into the steps.
Then caught Cassidy re-entering via dragon screw against the ropes. And crotched Cassidy before targeting the knee again, sending Orange tumbling outside as the ref began to count. Lethal dropped an elbow but sold his own arm after Cassidy’s earlier work on it, coming back with a knee-breaker against the post as the ads arrived.
If anyone wondered how much AEW’s audience is aging, the first ad was Just for Men. They also pushed the new behind-the-scenes show debuting March 29th. For AEW that is, not Just for Men. Next on Behind the Beard…
Cassidy went back after the arm, Lethal the knee: both struggled to execute moves because of their injuries. Jay missed a charge in the corner, Cassidy clambered up top, Lethal met him, attempting a suplex, being fought off, Orange came off with a diving ddt, then a tornado.
Two slaps of the mat.
Cassidy then collapsed attempting the Orange Punch (did not look believable). Lethal went straight for the figure four, Orange finally scrambled to the ropes.
Both ended up on the apron, Jay fired chops, threw fists; Cassidy smashed him against the ropes Sheamus-style until knocking him back inside, Lethal dropped him out of a gorilla press, went for the figure four once again; Cassidy snagged a small package for two but got up right into a Lethal Combination.
Jay headed up top, badly missed an elbow, kinda landing on Cassidy’s knees. Then caught Cassidy in a cutter while countering the Orange Punch for a close two. A thrust kick to the knee followed, Lethal Injection on the way but Jay buckled due to his injured arm, leaving him open for an Orange Punch as Cassidy retained.
As much as I don’t want to see Jay Lethal, this was a very good opener.
Lethal went for the Golden Globe, the ref cut him off, you knew an attack from behind was coming. And of course, Jeff Jarrett did just that with the Stroke. That’s what I get for saying something positive.
Jarrett then broke his guitar across the knee. Yaaaaaay, he’s going after another title.
Did I mention the young audience has left in droves?
WINNER: Orange Cassidy
Knew this was an angle. They showed footage of Wardlow’s smashed-up rental car and told us his belt had been stolen. Cut to Hobbs with Renee: Will said Wardlow only had one thing left, his championship. ‘Tonight, I’m taking that.’
Cheers from the audience. Uh-oh.
They’d pushed that Hangman was ‘next’ during the opener. Ricky Starks was out instead. To proclaim he was having a hell of a week after spending time in Cali & beating Jericho. So what’s next? ‘I’m not sure.’ The Bullet Club logo appeared, the music played, distracting Starks as Juice Robinson attacked from behind.
That’s twice in two segs that the babyface has been tricked and caught from behind.
Schiavone and Wardlow (wearing an FTR shirt which he said they’d loaned him). He promised to ‘demolish’ Hobbs and offered to make tonight ‘anything goes’. The crowd seemed to be behind Wardlow too.
Ruby Soho vs Skye Blue
Backstory: Soho faces an AEW Original after her recent turn
From the ring, Renee introduced Soho. Pretty loud boos. Saraya and Toni came to the top of the ramp but Soho came to the ring alone. Renee asked why she’d joined them.
Apparently, the fans ‘created this monster’. The people cheered when Britt beat her in her first match. In the semi’s of the Owen tourney they cheered Statlander against her (loud cheers here in the arena too) and booed Soho.
Called the fans ‘fat, bearded trolls’ (just about spitting the words out amid weak STFU chants). She and the others came to help AEW but the foundation is broken, the ‘entitled little s**** & rookies… Tony Khan ‘gives it (opportunity) to them’.
This was very bad-WWE. It’s the fans’ fault, they never appreciated me. Don’t know if that’s supposed to be ironic or whether it just sucked. The result was the same either way.
And was unconvincing: acting isn’t a strong suit of Soho.
Match starts here
She attacked Skye Blue quickly, flung her into the post, after which Blue was loopy. But tried to fight back. A Soho back-heel trip got two as the break beckoned.
Blue was still basically out on her feet as we returned, a pair of suplexes dropping her, Ruby twice missed punts (very badly), after which Blue fought back, step-up knee strike, snapmare, her basement enziguri, boot up in the corner, diving cross body, count of two.
Then a strange sequence where Skye just slipped off Soho’s butt/back led to Ruby using the hair to set-up Destination Unknown.
Post-match, Soho and her crew spray-painted Blue. The stupid, moronic, idiotic babyfaces continued as Willow Nightingale came out and tried to calmly ‘talk sense’ to Soho. And got the crap beaten out of her three-on-one.
WINNER: Ruby Soho
The Adam Page promo we were promised forty minutes ago was ‘next’, finally arrived.
Joined by Renee, Hangman (sporting a black eye) was asked how he’s doing after Revolution.
Page said he’s been better. He let his heart blacken on Sunday, but it showed what’ll happen if anyone wants to try him. He’ll beat you, choke you, take you to hell and ride-off afterward (honestly sounded just like Moxley).
Then apologized to Renee for ‘what you had to see’. Though suggested Mox was the person to blame if anyone was.
MJF promo post-match. He made Danielson tap, he’s the devil and he has the greatest prize of them all. He’s single in San Diego. On March 15th he’s gonna celebrate the Ides of March with his re-Bar Mitzvah. ‘My reign of terror, has just begun.’
Was hoping they’d forgotten that last phrase.
Undoubtedly, someone’s going to interrupt, but most candidates are already occupied based on tonight. Adam Cole? A challenge for his first match back? Tie in the concussion thing with the Danielson storyline?
Schiavone mid-ring to bring out FTR. Excalibur inferred that he hoped they were here to say they were staying in AEW (Dax on his podcast said nothing had changed and they still only have about a month on their deals).
Deafening FTR chants, easily the loudest the fans have been all night.
Cash talked about how bad the last few months had been, losing all their titles in the space of a month. Then losing one of their best friends, Wheeler tearing up as the crowd chanted ‘Jay’. But he cannot sit at home while the Gunns call themselves the best team in wrestling. He put them over a bit but called them ‘entitled little assholes’.
Dax told the fans that they and professional wrestling accepted him when he didn’t feel deserving of love. More loud FTR chants.
And that the last memory he has with one of his best friends (the third match against the Briscoes) was ruined by the Gunns. So now they’ve got to beat the Gunns for themselves, the Briscoes and ‘all of y’all, Top Guys… out’.
Short but effective, backed by a rabid crowd.
Renee with Jade & Leyla Grey. Cargill laughed at the idea of her feeling tested. She challenged any Canadian for next Wednesday in Winnipeg.
Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara & Daniel Garcia vs Top Flight & AR Fox
Hopefully the start of some regular trios action. Excalibur put over the phenomenal title match Sunday.
Fox and Jericho kicked things off, Fox ducking a series of lariats before kipping up into an enziguri then skinning the cat into a dropkick in the corner. And taking flight onto the vet who’d bailed outside.
Jericho ran to his corner, hugging Guevara’s waist before tagging in his fellow Sex God. The pair then hit their pose (the whole JAS joined in) after a lariat. Darius tagged in and Sammy bailed to hug Garcia, tagging the youngster who ate an Asai moonsault from Dante but caught him with a right hand after Angelo Parker grabbed the youngster’s ankle.
Break time. Almost total ‘comedy’ thus far.
Garcia was dancing on the apron as we returned, so not much had changed. Sammy kept cutting off Dante from the tag until being flung into the air, allowing the tag to Fox. Who hit a cutter on Garcia, sent Jericho outside, then crushed Guevara against the ropes while dropkicking Jericho on the outside. And rolling across the ring to hit a double cutter for a two count on Garcia.
Darius in, deadlift German, two on Garcia. Who grabbed the hair to tag Jericho.
The vet stumbling into a Spanish fly then a back-kick for another two. Everyone in, Dante took out Garcia with a dive, Fox=Guevara & Parker (who stood there way too long, not helped by the camera work), leaving Jericho and Darius in the ring, the youngster cradling out of the Walls for two until Hager caught him with Floyd, right into the Judas Effect for the usual BS win.
A nothing match with a few highlights. Not what I was hoping for to kick-start an actual trios division.
JAS challenge HOB & Elite come out
Parker made a ‘light the beam’ reference (you cannot be a heel and say that in Sacramento, so lame). Menard said (shouted) that tonight is the the one year anniversary of the JAS.
Garcia said they should be #1 contenders for the trios titles. Jericho then directly challenged the House of Black to get their asses in the ring.
The lights went out. Carry on My Wayward Son struck-up as the Elite came out instead. To a decent number of boos because the crowd wanted the champs.
Omega acknowledged that they and Jericho had stayed out of each other’s business for three years, which he’d like to think was mutual respect.
Callis then demanded the mic. Saying it was ‘obvious’ that the Elite were the #1 contenders. Then that while they’d been friends for over thirty years, Jericho was only the second greatest wrestler from Winnipeg (Jericho looked like his dog died, as the crowd chanted ‘Kenny’) ‘and if I had a couple months to train… you’d be third’. Jericho was furious at that last jab.
The House appeared on the big screen. Both teams are equally deserving of being humiliated in their hometown. ‘So, if you want these…’ the lights went out, the HOB appeared in the aisle, ‘come and get ‘em’.
Lights back out, House gone. Three-way set for next week.
Should be a great match. And should be a red-hot crowd assuming they’ve moved some ticks.
Callis’ mic-work made this, exceptional.
Another of Tony Khan’s announcements. He spoke for himself this time.
Orange Cassidy has demanded a title match vs Jarrett next week. To support Shazam: Fury of the Gods, the title will be named (‘levelled up’) the AEW International Championship.
A video package blending the movie, Cassidy and Jarrett played.
All very lame. But tbf, if the network asks, you don’t have much choice. Now all I need to do is buy a network and I can get rid of Jarrett for good.
A broken-sounding, tearful Bryan Danielson after Sunday’s match. He’s thought his whole life that fighting is the answer. But maybe Max was right. Because at the end of the match he couldn’t feel his arms and his legs were a mess: he couldn’t play with his kids. Realizing he hadn’t put them first made him even more ashamed than tapping out.
‘It’s time for me to go home’.
Crowd didn’t react much as we came back to the arena.
Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs John Silver & Alex Reynolds
Backstory: The Moxley/Hangman feud has spun off into the BCC feuding with Page’s friends
Though they did to ‘Wild Thing’ as the BCC made their way through an almost totally blacked-out audience.
Hopefully, Claudio’s taking the brunt of this because Mox can’t be in good shape after Sunday. The Dark Order had new music (I think?).
The BCC attacked immediately, leaving Reynolds outside as they worked over Silver in the ring. Quick tags left Silver at a deficit, though he kept fighting back. A bunch of attempted suplexes were blocked between he and Claudio until Silver won out.
A quick tag to Mox and a gator roll brought the BCC back on top as the quick tags continued with Castagnoli back in: bodyslam, leg drop, count of two. Uppercuts and body shots in the corner maintained the assault until Claudio was dropped atop the buckle.
Reynolds in, running back elbow, discus to the back of the head, dive onto Mox outside, boot to Claudio’s jaw; Claudio elbowed his way free then drilled Reynolds off the top rope for a nasty spill to the outside.
The BCC must officially be heels. Because that brought the break.
Claudio took a spill himself as we came back, Reynolds made the crawl but the Swiss raced back in to grab a headlock and block the tag. A back body drop and double stomp finally allowed it, Mox in too as Silver went to work with stiff kicks in the corner but was drilled with a back elbow, came back with a pumpkick, knee to the back of the head, German, count of two.
Mox fired off kicks of his own, Silver caught the last and rained down blows, Mox hooked him into a triangle choke, Silver countered into a choke of his own, broken by Claudio.
A stiff uppercut and arrogant, heelish kicks from Claudio led to him being taken out via double-team pop-up uppercut, as Mox was worked over by the team’s usual combo until countering Reynolds’ cutter into an ‘anaconda variation’ (Taz) as the latter tapped.
Mox slapped the hold right back on as Excalibur admonished him and Claudio cut-off the ref. Then gut-wrenched Silver over the top, Reynolds now inthe Bulldog Choke as Uno charged down to make the save. But after a brief flurry was beaten down by Yuta.
Cue Hangman who limped his way down to check on his friends. And received a three-on-one beatdown after popping Castagnoli.
Page and the others then had to be held back from going after the BCC as the crowd chanted ‘let them fight’.
Mox/Page probably should’ve finished at the ppv but some tags and trios can’t hurt. Silver & Reynolds looked good as usual.
WINNER: Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli
The Acclaimed with Renee. They’re on their way back to the tag titles. 2.0 interrupted to say that the JAS too love the Acclaimed, who are ‘sports entertainers at heart’. The ex-champs and Billy howled with laughter at the invite. Then exited.
Wardlow vs Will Hobbs, TNT Title
Backstory: Hobbs won a shot last week in a ladder match, Wardlow won the belt Sunday
It’s a mistake booking this so quickly. Could’ve really been something with the right build. And actually the mini-story they did was good and could’ve been stretched out at least a couple weeks.
Wardlow’s music played as they cut backstage to the two already fighting in the parking lot.
Hobbs beat Wardlow into and around a car, including a suplex on the hood, just as the bell rang. Hobbs channeled D-Lo Brown by taking a back drop onto the vehicle.
Wouldn’t you know it, the two made it into the arena right as we returned.
A smattering of ‘powerhouse’ chants as Hobbs planted the champ with a spinebuster. Wardlow popped right up as the two slugged it out, both dressed for a fight rather than a match. An F-10 brought two as the crowd chanted for tables.
Turning the tables (that’s what you call a 5* transition), a second spinebuster, then a third brought a two count as Hobbs finally brought out the lumber. Wardlow spat water at Hobbs, set him on the table at ringside then came off the top via senton, count of two in the aisle.
TiA chant as Wardlow landed a powerbomb on the ramp, the champ dropping and clutching his side afterward. Then marching the challenger up the ramp, right in front of the announce desk, taking way too long as QT Marshall attacked with a chair.
The crowd completely died.
Excalibur noted Marshall had ‘QTV’ (has that been sufficiently explained?) on his shirt and mentioned something he’d apparently said to Hobbs in the past (definitely wasn’t sufficiently explained) as he helped Hobbs powerbomb/throw Wardlow off the ramp. The ref began his ten count, Wardlow was unable to answer, new champ as Taz yelled excitedly that we ‘havent seen QT in forever’ (no-one noticed, promise).
Well, that sucked. Went barely a few minutes either side of the break.
Marshall is very talented. He can talk, he can work. The problem is, no-one cares. And haven’t been given reason too. It often feels like AEW are stuck in their own bubble, not realizing how little connection there is between the fans and acts pushed into prominent roles such as the Gunns and QT.
It’s no coincidence this finish felt just like when the Gunns won their belts.
WINNER: Will Hobbs
- Sammy Guevara vs Action Andretti
- Acclaimed vs TBA
- Konosuke Takeshita vs Preston Vance
- Riho vs Nyla Rose
- Jeff Jarrett vs Orange Cassidy, International Championship
- MJF’s re-Bar Mitzvah
- HOB vs Elite vs Jericho, Guevara & Garcia, Trios Titles
It’s kind of cliché in wrestling: send the fans home happy. This doesn’t always have to mean the babyface wins but it certainly does mean don’t end on a flat note.
And this show did. Undercutting a fairly entertaining two hours.
- Jay Lethal vs Orange Cassidy
Thanks for reading.