AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fl. After last week drawing 830,000 & a 0.28 in the 18-49 demo. That’s the second-lowest total this year.
Orange Cassidy vs Bandido, International Title
Backstory: Orange’s 20th defense
It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means… Cassidy’s opening.
They showed a Bandido highlight reel as he walked the ramp. It’s been so long it feels like he’s starting all over again.
A ‘freshly squeezed’ chant played as Cassidy went for the pockets; Bandido quickly swept the leg to end the shenanigans. Orange did the same after Bandido brought out the finger guns. Then mimicked Bandido’s backflips with a lazy cartwheel.
The pair exchanged armdrags and quick pin attempts, Bandido kipping up; Cassidy remaining mat-bound. Clear who the better athlete is. Back to the finger guns and pockets – Orange put the former in his. Cassidy then faked a dive and put his hands in his pockets.
Lot of silliness so far. Yet to get going.
Cassidy ran through his hands in pockets routine: duck under, dive over – then hit a hands-free hurracanrana before depositing the challenger outside via dropkick. The crowd very much behind the champ. As he was caught mid-dive and dumped across the barricade.
Bandido’s kinda been playing heel thus far. Or at least spoiler.
Brawling outside, Bandido rolled the champ in for a quick one-count, hurled himself at Cassidy in the corner before ramming his shoulder to the champ’s gut. A legsweep into an arm-capture stretch muffler followed, Orange reaching the ropes but remaining down.
Dropkicking the champ outside, a shout of ‘arriba!’ preceded a beautiful plancha to bring the break.
Coming back to Cassidy upside down in Bandido’s delayed suplex. Which Orange countered into stundog millionaire; Bandido came back with a regular ol’ suplex. Both guys down. A ‘chop battle’ followed, Cassidy throwing deliberately weak ones, the crowd still into everything he does.
Enough with the messing, Bandido struck with a thrust kick and a pump kick but was caught running in and introduced to a couple turnbuckles. Then hit with a Michinoku Driver II for two.
Cassidy pursued Bandido outside with an elbow suicida but was caught with an enziguri as he re-entered, a light ‘Bandido’ chant starting as the challenger hauled Cassidy in from the apron, up into a superplex. With one freakin’ (Sorry Seth) arm! The crowd oohing and aahing, Bandido followed up with a pop-up cutter for another two.
Orange got a boot up in the corner, hit an elbow strike, Bandido retaliated via step-up enziguri; Cassidy fought off X Marks the Spot. Bandido then just stood for several seconds waiting to catch Cassidy as he came off the top via cross body. Kind of a vibe killer.
Though reinvigorated the crowd with the single-arm military press and frogsplash which followed for two. The pin attempts coming thick and fast: Cassidy mousetrap for two, Bandido rolling through for two of his own. Before popping-up Cassidy, who hit an Orange Punch on his way down, then Beach Break to hold on to his belt.
The story of Cassidy being beaten and battered continued as the announcers talked up his injured ribs. Though he didn’t sell anything during the match itself. Which was ok but not near as good as expected. Too much comedy at the start and stutter-y thereafter. Plus this crowd sounds miniscule; there are even empty seats on camera.
Post-match, Cassidy helped Bandido to his feet and put shades on him as they posed together.
Having younger talent ‘go the distance’ with established guys can absolutely work as a means to get them ‘over’. But they need to be shown beating lesser and middling talents along the way. He’s had good matches yes. But Bandido’s now 0-3
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Renee backstage with Adam Cole. An angry, serious Cole vowed to call out Chris Jericho and show him the ‘mistake he made’. If Jericho wont come out – ‘I’ll find you’.
Cassidy and Bandido happened by, thinking she was there to interview them. After Renee explained why she was really there, Cassidy awkwardly said ‘Oh’ and left. A recurring theme with AEW is that they don’t know when to leave the comedy out and keep Serious separate. This was just such a moment.
Otherwise, just what was needed from Cole. Didn’t like the idea that he was going to ‘talk’ tonight. What happened last week demanded actions, not words. He absolutely should go Ocho hunting.
Already busy, Paquette was now with Darby Allin & Jack Perry. Allin admitted the pair got carried away last week, a little personal. Vowing that if he’d known what was going to happen in Perry’s match, he’d have been there to stop it. Asking Perry to have his back tonight in case the same thing happened.
Perry agreed. Maybe. Sort-of. A little warily.
Darby then very dickishly, very smugly said he wished he was facing Perry tonight because he’d beat him. The two glared as Allin said he had to get ready for his match.
This started so well.
Fairly sure Darby’s not going heel. But calling a get-together to hash out their differences and ask for Perry’s help before deliberately insulting him sure is a heelish thing to do. What a dick. And now I kinda want him to lose.
Which I assume was not the purpose of this.
Outside of the strange casting, Allin’s really finding his confidence on the mic. The delivery good once more.
Dax Harwood vs Jeff Jarrett
Backstory: The two bickered while teaming on Rampage
Jarrett’s cheerleaders were sent backstage as he made his entrance. Cash left of his own volition after a quick hug with his partner. Interesting that it’s never him wrestling singles.
An aggressive grapple was broken as Jarrett got the ropes, Dax quick to cut-out a Fargo strut before some very smooth chain wrestling ended with a Jarrett takedown, the heel walking Dax’s back before hitting a shoulder tackle.
A couple hiptosses and a bodyslam followed, Jarrett now free to strut. Though turning round into stinging chops & uppercuts in the corner. Jarrett threw an elbow strike then stomped Harwood down in the corner.
Dax came back with more chops, snap suplex, legdrop – for just-about two. Before placing the vet upstairs, even more chops preceding a superplex attempt which Jarrett countered into a face-first drop.
Break time. Thus far, there’s been a ban on moves invented after the 80s. Albeit with some smooth grappling exchanges.
Firing rights, the two exchanged shots in the middle, Dax’s left jabs breaking the stalemate until Jarrett ducked, into a knee-breaker, looking for the figure four, Dax countering into the sharpshooter, Jarrett kicked him away, Dax came back with a headbutt off the top for two slaps.
Then fought free of the Stroke, looking for a backslide, faking Jarrett out to hit a piledriver for another close count. The vet seeking respite – bailing outside, Dax in pursuit as he beat Jarrett around ringside.
An attempted shotgun dropkick off the top saw Dax snatched into the figure four, only for him to twice block it but be catapulted into the buckle for another two count. Back to the knee-breaker: Dax rolled through, Jarrett countered back into the figure four, Dax countered the counter into a cradle for another two.
A short-arm clothesline once again saw Jeff heading outside. To the apron. Where Dax readied a suplex back in, the camera making it clear we were getting an Ultimate Warrior Finish as Dutt grabbed Harwood’s leg, holding on as Jarrett got 1, 2, kickout!
Dumb babyface syndrome then kicked in: Dax racing after Dutt, who ran right through the ring in full view of the ref who’d already thrown him out, Dax pursuing, right into the Stroke as Jarrett won. Dutt handed Jarrett one of the tag title belts which he kissed. Remember this moment when the Bucks sign with WWE (Joke! I think…).
This match literally and figuratively took the tag division back several years.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Tony Khan announced the 2023 Owen Hart Tournament. The opening ceremony of which will take place at Double or Nothing. The tournament itself’ll take place in Canada – including matches at Forbidden Door, with the finals in Calgary no less. On July 15th.
A worthy memorial. Let’s hope this year’s edition is better than last.
Wardlow vs Dude They Never Named
After hitting his lame rear-back lariat, it was Symphony time.
The usual then. Other than Arn and his haircut, you might even think it was 2022.
Afterward, Arn advised the defeated man to get a twelve-pack and an ice bath. Then compared Wardlow to tomorrow’s NFL draft – he’s a #1 pick who can ‘put AEW on (his) shoulders’. Arn’s gonna teach him how to gouge eyes and bite-off thumbs.
Just as Christian Cage’s music interrupted, the dinosaur in tow. The heels thought about getting in the ring, then thought better of it. Walking away without saying or doing anything. Just like last week.
If they think either of these guys are at the level where the mere hint of them squaring off is enough to sell the match, they’re wrong. This needs heating up.
There’s still time of course.
Renee with Sammy Guevara. Quickly interrupted by a supportive MJF, who told him in a soft voice ‘This is your big night’ before kissing his forehead. This relationship sure has changed in a week.
Sammy kissed him back, correcting him that this was ‘their moment’.
The two relayed all the complaints about what they did last week, then shouted in unison ‘We don’t care!’. Guevara vowed to beat Darby then presented Max with a gift, a matching vest. MJF reciprocated, presenting a Burberry scarf. Sammy offered a handshake but the two again announced in unison that ‘friends hug!’.
Sammy told Max he smelled nice.
Am I wrong for finding these two much more likeable than the ‘babyfaces’? Certainly they were more entertaining.
Jon Moxley attacked RJ City as he was hyping Omega & Takeshita teaming.
Darby Allin vs Sammy Guevara, Pillars Tourn. Final
Backstory: Darby got a bye to the final; Sammy reached it via MJF’s help, winner faces Max at the ppv
Presumably there are going to be shenanigans here. Otherwise it’s very hard to justify this being in the middle of the show.
Max came out to watch. With a jar of pickles. Which he ate while commentating.
Sammy started with a slap, Allin snagged an aggressive headlock takeover, maintaining his grip until Guevara forced him to the corner for the break. Allin coming straight back via springboard armdrag as a duelling ‘Let’s go Sammy/Sammy sucks!’ chant played – that Darby promo clearly worked wonders.
Briefly speeding up, Sammy came down from a leapfrog seeking an armdrag of his own, only for Allin to slide across his back, once more into a headlock. As Max literally said ‘This guy (Sammy) is gonna lay down for me’.
As Guevara launched his patented flips into a dropkick, kipping up with that sh**-eating grin. As they cut away from a #1 contender’s match so MJF could promo his pickles.
Allin bridged up out of a pin then returned to the headlock, transitioning into a scorpion deathlock, Sammy getting the rope break then spitting in Darby’s face, leaving an opening for a leaping knee strike before posing in the ring with Allin knocked outside.
Finally pursuing him, Sammy threw Darby back in, blocked a suplex from the apron, Allin settling for choking him across the middle rope. Then seeking a German off the apron, Sammy launching a mule kick then a beautiful dive, even landing in his pose on the mats at ringside.
Max screaming ‘That’s my friend!’ as we went to break.
Both guys down and Darby bleeding as we returned, Sammy rolled outside; Allin launched a suicide dive which Guevara turned into a cutter. Then went table hunting, further endearing him to the crowd. Who were as loud here as they’d been all night.
Darby fired back with stiff chops, setting Sammy atop the table and heading up top. About to launch when Tay Melo ran down to hop on the apron, distracting Darby. As usual, this was in full view of the ref. And Sammy took advantage to hit a Spanish fly off the top for two.
Guevara now set Darby on the table, to the top, 630 through the table. The crowd going wild again as they teased Allin being counted out. He slipped back in at 9, a disbelieving MJF marching down to ringside as Sammy and Darby slumped into opposite corners.
From which Sammy missed with a running splash, Allin hit a shotgun dropkick before heading upstairs for a Coffin Drop. Melo again hit the apron, Max threw Darby his skateboard, Sammy fell down a la Eddie Guerrero.
Paul Turner called for the bell. Max lariated Darby as a graphic showed Sammy vs MJF as the main event for Double or Nothing. Jungle Boy ran off the heels as Schiavone said Tony Khan was in his ear.
Continuing to be an absolute dick, Darby shouted at Perry for not getting here quicker and slapped his hand away. Must’ve been a brutal lariat.
As MJF took the mic to encourage the faces to go at it. Saying they were going back to the undercard. As Schiavone interrupted: ‘Listen up you prick!’ Sammy will indeed be facing Max at the ppv but next week will be Darby & Perry vs Sammy & Max. And if the faces win, it’ll be a four-way at Double or Nothing.
This smacks of We had to kill time before the ppv. They’ve made a mess of Allin here. But… it’s the right match. One on one, it’s hard to see any of these guys beating Max. But if they can pin each other, it at least makes a title change slightly more viable.
Winner: Sammy Guevara
They recapped what’d just happened before panning backstage where a livid MJF and Sammy were leaving. Max ranted that Tony Khan was ‘playing games’ with him. ‘You really think you’re gonna keep me around treating me like this? Where I go, the BBB (the belt) follows!’
Really don’t want to keep being negative. Honestly I don’t. But this is just awful.
Max then told Sammy the car was full, leaving him behind as the camera showed the car to be empty.
Adam Cole then rightly stormed to the ring. Not sure why he waited over an hour, this should’ve started the show.
No stopping, no posing, no ‘BOOM’ as he ranted that what Jericho did to Britt was unforgiveable, a line you don’t come back from. ‘I’m gonna hurt you, I’m gonna hurt you bad’. Demanding Jericho come out.
About to head back in pursuit, Judas kicked in, Jericho appearing on the big screen. He said he didn’t want to be anywhere near a man who allowed the love of his life to be viciously beaten. ‘You are a coward, and I don’t wanna have anything to do with you’.
‘But my guys will’.
As the JAS headed to the ring, quickly and easily overpowering Cole until Orange Cassidy and Bandido hit the ring. Still the faces were easily beaten down.
Until Roderick Strong evened the sides. I’m begging AEW to please stop hiring people. He ran through the whole JAS. Totally overshadowing the man being built for a heated, top-level program.
Again, don’t want to be negative but.
Cole gave Strong a big hug to end the segment.
Jericho was great here btw. Him calling Cole a coward and using it as a pretense to stay away is absolute genius.
And now, it’s time for QTV…
QT said it’s been a rough coupla weeks. As Hobbs grabbed him by the throat. QT promised to make him a champion again. ‘Fix it’ was Hobbs’ verdict. QT said it was time for Plan B.
Okay! This actually wasn’t bad. It featured who it should’ve.
Jade Cargill vs Taya Valkyrie, TBS Title
Backstory: Taya’s version of Jaded is banned for this match
And now it’s time for Taya’s bangin’ theme. As they emphasized Valkyrie not being able to use her finish.
Jade came with Leila and Sterling, tearing up a fan’s sign en route.
Lockup, stalemate, break. Jade with a slap, Taya firing back then Jade taking her to the corner, from which Taya came flying out with a big lariat before launching blows from the mount. Immediately readying Road to Valhalla then realizing she couldn’t use it.
Allowing Jade to take her back to the corner, stomping away, firing shots, Taya getting a boot up then flinging Jade outside where she skinned the cat back in. Or most of the way – Taya thrust-kicking her back out, threatening a dive; Jade moved out of the way.
Then pulled Taya down into a splits position on the apron before dragging her off with something like a reverse ddt (the motion was the same but the impact, rightly, was on the back rather than the head).
Jade got two as we returned. But missed an elbow drop. Taya avoided a pump kick, hit a knee strike, a couple lariats, sit-out powerbomb for two of her own. Slapping the mat in an effort to get some noise, any noise out of the crowd. The match very slow.
Jade then set Valkyrie atop the buckle for a superplex, the crowd finally responding. A destroyer followed for another close count. Up into Jaded, Taya escaped via armdrag, footstomp, count of two.
Again she thought Road to Valhalla, Jade fell backwards so Taya could roll forwards as they pretended she’d rolled Valkyrie up. A handful of tights ensuring the pin.
Post-match, Taya hooked Aubrey for Road to Valhalla. A surefire way to be booed. As the other refs prevented the move’s execution.
This went looooong for a Jade match. She’s added some new moves but the problem is that the main body of her matches still feel like practice sessions.
That aside, the match told the right story. Presumably setting up a rematch with Valkryie’s finish legal.
Winner: Jade Cargill
Black-eyed Britt Baker was backstage. Along with shoulder-slinged Jamie Hayter. Baker said the Outcasts forgot who they were messing with. Hayter that Storm’s attack on her shoulder sent her to the hospital. So presumably that’s Hayter’s next defense.
The champ said this was far from over, the Outcasts have ‘declared war’.
Bullet Club Gold/Starks & Spears promo package.
White said Starks and Spears would be looking at the lights when the match ended.
Excalibur nearly passed out announcing next week’s matches.
Kenny Omega & Konosuke Takeshita vs Butcher & Blade
Backstory: The faces’ first-time teaming
Looking forward to this since the babyfaces are great. But this is worlds away from a legit main event. Bryan Danielson joined on comms.
No separate entrances, Takeshita came out along with Omega & Callis. As Danielson mentioned he and Takeshita had trained together and how much potential he has.
Penelope Ford & Kip accompanied B&B.
Danielson accused the Elite of resting on their laurels – Omega hasn’t even ‘pursued’ MJF, ditto the Bucks re: FTR. Unfortunately, most fans were probably nodding their agreement. Especially given the current challengers.
As Takeshita and Blade got things going. Blade with stiff chops in the corner, Takeshita coming back with a big elbow strike. Leg lariat followed, tag to Kenny – big cheer – as the faces executed quick tags, the last of which took place mid-you can’t escape, Takeshita following immediately with a senton.
Omega back in, snapping hurracanrana leading to a terminator dive. Or about to when Kip grabbed the leg, allowing Butcher to attack from behind, Kip hitting an Asai moonsault to Omega on the outside with the ref distracted.
Break. Fast and crisp so far.
Kintaro crusher to Blade, who bailed for a tag, Takeshita in on the other side, coming off the top via cross body, couple duck-unders ending in a Takeshita-line and running boot in the corner.
As Danielson asked whether the youngster would be better off training with the BCC. Pointing out that people like Cutler and Nakazawa trained with the Elite, and they’ve done nothing since they’ve been in AEW. While Yuta’s a two-time champ.
As Takeshita floated behind: waistlock, ducked an elbow, into a sheer-drop brainbuster for two. As Taz admitted when asked that he’d rather Hook train with the BCC over the Elite.
B&B doubled-up on Takeshita with Omega nowhere in sight. A stunner/lariat combo bagging two as Omega returned to break the pin.
Now this was interesting. Out of nowhere, a ‘CM Punk’ chant started. And was quickly, emphatically booed down.
Omega prevented more double-teaming by dragging Blade outside, slipping back in to hit a v-trigger on Butcher. Takeshita followed-up via blue thunder bomb; Blade made the save. But ate a leaping knee from Takeshita, into a snapdragon – Omega following up via terminator dive onto Blade & Kip as even Danielson remarked on Omega’s ‘incredible’ dragon suplexes.
Leaving Takeshita and Butcher alone where the youngster dispatched the big man via running knee. For his biggest win to date.
Grabbing a mic, Danielson said he saw a ‘professional wrestler, who got the pin’ and someone who looks ‘exhausted, like his best days are behind him, living on a legacy built in Japan’.
While Takeshita’s a phenom, who if he trained with the BCC would be a world-beater. With the Elite, he’ll end up like Cutler and Nakazawa. Yet again the distraction from the front allowing the rest of the BCC to attack from behind.
Pulling out a screwdriver, he asked Mox to ‘finish the job’. As the Bucks’ music hit, Claudio quickly taken out via superkick, ditto Wheeler, Omega dropping Moxley. More superkicks followed, the Bucks handing Omega the screwdriver as Danielson pointed this out to Takeshita.
The youngster begged Omega not to use it, allowing the BCC to strike from behind as Takeshita looked crestfallen. Danielson and Claudio held his arms up in celebration, the youngster shook them off. Yuta hit a low blow, Mox readied the screwdriver. As yet again it was used without us really seeing it.
The Elite checked on a bleeding Takeshita as the BCC left.
Decent match which did a nice job of featuring Takeshita both in the match and the story. Might’ve liked to see the attempted recruitment continue a little longer.
Winner: Kenny Omega & Konosuke Takeshita
Next Rampage (Friday at 5.30 Eastern):
- Naturally Limitless (Keith Lee & Dustin Rhodes) vs TBA
- Ricky Starks & Shawn Spears vs Juice Robinson & Jay White
- Outcasts promo
- Anna Jay vs Ashley D’Amboise
- Acclaimed promo
- Cash Wheeler vs Jay Lethal (FTR not wrestling tags is almost a parody at this point)
- Darby Allin & Jack Perry vs MJF & Sammy Guevara (If the faces win, the title match at Double or Nothing will involve all four)
- Adam Cole, Orange Cassidy, Roderick Strong & Bandido vs JAS (minus Jericho himself)
- More announced on Rampage
- Max and Sammy promo – they went from enemies to friends rather quickly, but they were very entertaining
- Jericho’s promo and reasoning for staying away from Cole
- Takeshita used prominently
- Terrible booking of Darby Allin
- The tag title scene
- Far too many debuts – no-one can have an impact when there’s one every week. They need to limit their hires to difference makers and young prospects.
- No standout matches
- Too much badly-done interference
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.