AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, MI. After last week drawing 776,000 & 0.28 in the 18-49 demo. That’s the lowest viewership on a Wednesday since last June.
Rey Fenix vs Claudio Castagnoli, Winner gets shot at other’s title
They’re even doing the ‘already in the ring’ thing on Dynamite now. Sports got ‘em shook.
Loud, healthy crowd chanting ‘AE-Dub’ as the two went face-to-chest. Fenix’ speed outdoing Castagnoli’s strength early as he ducked, dodged and countered until being snatched into a spinning backbreaker after diving off the top. A conventional one followed.
Before Rey slipped to the apron, springboard hurracanrana sending Claudio outside, a pair of suicide dives following, the crowd loud as a third saw him caught into a press slam and dumped across the barricade.
Before Fenix ran the barricade a la Jeff Hardy to land another hurracanrana. As chants of TiA began.
Back inside, Claudio caught Rey in a DVD as he ran in for two. As Yuta and Danielson were shown watching. Mox preparing for his match. Rey fought free of a top rope DVD to hit yet another hurracanrana. Count of two.
Claudio blocked a quebrada, blasting Rey with a lariat, pursuing him outside where he dumped him into the fans as the ads arrived.
Running elbow in the corner, Rey in trouble, both breathing heavily as the Mexican was caught up top into a gut-wrench for another close count. Fenix missed his rebound spin kick only to use it to lull Claudio, blasting him via thrust kick then rolling cutter. Two slaps of the mat.
With Claudio bailing outside, Rey went springboard into a stunning moonsault but ate a lariat as the two re-entered. Ricola Bomb ready, Rey countered into a sunset bomb for a very close two. A spin kick and a thrust kick repeating the result. Before Fenix tried to get Claudio on his shoulders, Castagnoli slipped out, H&A elbows raining down along with boos from the crowd, Ricola Bomb, 1, 2, 3.
Strangely anticlimactic ending to what was probably the best match on AEW television in at least a month. Maybe longer.
Wheeler and Danielson celebrated backstage.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli
As a confused Excalibur couldn’t believe what he was hearing, the camera panning backstage to a toned pair of legs, panning up to reveal… Miro! Renee on the spot to welcome him back. Then enquiring why he was here. As a stone-faced Miro marched into Tony Khan’s office without saying a word.
Promo package for the upcoming world title match. Max compared the pillars to the Beatles. He’s Paul McCartney, ‘the best’ of the four. The gap between he and them is getting bigger everyday. He challenged the other three to do at least some of the things he has. Listing all the big names he’s beaten. As well as being in the ‘best’ iron man match ever and at DoN he’ll be in the ‘best’ four way.
(Generally don’t like anyone talking about being in the best match but it particularly doesn’t fit Max’s character – all he’d care about is winning and money.)
‘My reign of terror has just begun’. Eugh.
Promo package for tonight’s main event, recapping the feud between the Elite and BCC.
FTR out to answer the Js’ challenge. Dax asked Mark Briscoe to come out. The heels did instead. The crowd did not want FTR to accept their challenge when Dax asked. But Harwood said if they admitted to using Briscoe they’d get their match.
As Mark made his way down with a bottle of booze and a pile of cups. He talked to Tony Khan and at DoN he’s going to be the special guest ref. So the match was clearly happening no matter what FTR decided. Rendering all of this nonsense null and void.
Briscoe handed out the booze and cups, Dutt spat booze at FTR, Briscoe tried to prevent an attack, Jarrett shoved him at Dax who piledrove Briscoe while blinded. Remember when AEW talked about main-eventing a ppv with a tag match? Quite a fall since.
Excalibur recapped the Cole/Jericho feud as Renee talked with Jericho backstage. The vet wondering why everyone’s so pleased at Cole’s ‘unprovoked’ attack while he was doing commentary, not ready for a fight. He’s got a court order banning Cole from being in the same arena as him.
As Roderick Strong challenged Jericho to a ‘fight’, falls count anywhere. Jericho accepted, saying Strong had made a mistake – Jericho has a whole army behind him. But Strong’s had the JAS banned from the building for the match.
Presumably that doesn’t include Sammy? If he’s even still part of the faction?
Renee gleefully watched all this, enjoying the heel’s embarrassment.
I’ll say it again about Strong. There are so many younger guys who’d benefit from this tv time and a match with Jericho, even if they’re going to lose.
Seeking an update on Miro, Renee waited outside Tony Khan’s office. As Thunder Rosa appeared. She too heading into the office.
Like three seconds later we cut to Tony Khan before a green screen with a mic. He talked about how many guys they had backstage who weren’t appearing on tv, asking fans to tune in next week for a ‘huge announcement’.
So that’s the Saturday show then. Will Punk appear? Because according to all the reporting so far, he and the Elite are going to be kept separate if at all possible.
Daniel Garcia vs Orange Cassidy, International Title
Backstory: Already beat-up by defending his title every week, Orange was worked over by Garcia in last week’s 8-man
Can totally see Garcia winning here, which is kinda the point of this Cassidy storyline. At the same time, when’s the last time he did anything meaningful? Last I can think of is main-eventing that Dynamite in Buffalo, which was September?
The two wrestled in and out of waist locks, Garcia ending up on top, riding Cassidy then ‘dancing’. Side-headlock, armdrag takedown into an armbar by Cassidy; Garcia reversed it, Cassidy reversed it back after pretending to collapse. Then avoided a drop toe hold, pocketing his hands after regaining his balance before the usual routine ended in a dropkick.
Garcia took the low-road – bending Cassidy’s injured hand and dropping him across the ropes. Then took things outside; Cassidy struck back with a weak tope suicida, headed upstairs, hit a diving cross body but was wiped out by a lariat then hurled upside-down into the buckle.
The commentators talked about Cassidy’s various injuries at the hands of recent opponents – hand, knee, back – all of which Garcia was exploiting as we went to break.
Cassidy got an elbow up in the corner, heading up top where Garcia cut him off, using Cassidy’s injured hand to hit a superplex, holding on and rolling through, looking for another as they landed which Orange sort-of turned into stundog millionaire.
Both guys down.
Garcia up first, seeking the Dragon Tamer, Cassidy kicked his way free, yay/boo in the middle, Garcia kicked the kneecap then stomped away at Cassidy’s injured hand. Orange blocked a piledriver into Beach Break but only got two since he couldn’t synch his grip.
A dropkick to Cassidy’s injured knee put Garcia back on top, the crowd booing as he mimicked Cassidy’s kicks. Boot to the face, leaping piledriver, count of two. Dragon Tamer countered into a rollup by Orange for two. Another Beach Break. Another two.
Garcia finally managed to hook the Dragon Tamer, dragging Cassidy back middle, wrenching back to add extra pressure. Cassidy fish-hooked free, Garcia transitioned right into a triangle, then a crossface, stomping away on the injured hand at the same time.
The pair countered in and out of rollups until Cassidy slipped into a cradle to hold onto his title. Excalibur emphasized that if Garcia had left the ‘sports entertaining’ alone, he’d have won.
Crowd much quieter here than the opener. Which could be because AEW again had a long block of backstage segments or could simply be because they don’t care about Garcia.
Wasn’t totally into it since Garcia doesn’t do it for me. But this was very well worked, Garcia was an aggressive heel who looked for shortcuts without resorting to interference, and they made you believe either guy could win – Cassidy so beat-up he had to resort to fish-hooking to hold onto his belt.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Immediately we cut away to recap the return of Shida and video package. The Outcasts noted Shida wasn’t here this week, challenging she, Britt and Jamie to a six-man (woman?). Baker noted that Shida might not be here in person but she is ‘here’ – revealing a tee with a pic of Shida blasting the Outcasts last week.
The heels then sarcastically asked how Hayter’s shoulder was, Jamie answered that it was good enough. (They weren’t all together, it was shot as if the faces had been shown the heels’ comments and were responding.)
‘Next week, on Dynamite, we’ll show you… offensive’. You sure will Ruby.
Christian Cage and Luchasaurus out. Wardlow and Arn aren’t here per Excalibur. Erm, why? Can’t you at least say he has a signing or something?
Schiavone asked how Christian could jump the queue for a title shot. Cage said it’s because he’s him. Good god the heat this man drew here. Boos absolutely pouring down in waves.
Cage asked why so many wrestlers in AEW had daddy issues. Cheap Heat Christian Cage returned as he ran down Wardlow’s dead dad. But he found a new one in Arn, just as Arn ‘was looking for a new son himself.’
That’s just disgusting. The heavy booing actually dissipated at this LCD shtick.
Cage called Arn a hypocrite for abandoning his own son Brock and seeing dollar signs in Wardlow. He then called Arn a fraud who never won a world title. (Cage kept messing up during this promo, several times he had to re-start what he was saying.)
‘Detroit, kiss my ass’ was how he ended. Vile and disgusting cheap heat, accented by generic, localized cheap heat.
They may be above taking Saudi money, but when it comes to exploiting any and every real tragedy, AEW are every bit as bad as WWE. Total turn off.
Darby said he wasn’t here on earth to wash dishes or clean toilets. (This is a babyface?) They showed him skateboarding at home with his dad as he explained he does crazy things to ‘break down mental barriers’. Sting explained that Darby made his own way into the business, without help.
Allin finished by saying he’s going to win the world title.
Anna Jay vs Julia Hart, No Holds Barred
Backstory: Formerly friends, Jay believes Hart is brainwashed & Hart beat her last they met via black mist
Apparently this did a good rating on Rampage which is why they’re re-running it here.
How dare she! Anna interrupted Julia’s entrance, attacking her on the ramp. Hart came back by hurling Jay around ringside into the barricade. Before grabbing a kendo stick. Cue a tables chant.
Jay hit a snap suplex outside. Going for the kendo herself as Julia cut her off, flinging her repeatedly, face-first, into the ringside table.
After a long ad break, Anna dropped Hart across a pile of chairs out of a Gory Bomb. Count of two. Looked like Julia hit her head and hips hard. As Anna place her in a trash can in the corner, squashing her with a running splash for two.
Crowd quiet again outside of chanting for tables.
As Anna setup another pile of chairs in the ring. Hart fought free, placing Anna up top for a superplex which all-but completely missed the pile, transitioning into Hartless to bag the win after Anna took most of the match.
Not the best.
Winner: Julia Hart
Renee with the Best Friends, Orange and Bandido. Trent called them ‘Best Amigos’. None of the guys had prepared a rule (see below) so they settled on ‘all witches are barred from ringside’ since Chuck was scared of Julia Hart.
Totally realize it’s the gimmick, but the Best Friends’ inability to take things seriously even when a title’s on the line is what kills my interest in them.
HOB vs Best Friends & Bandido
Backstory: If there is one, don’t remember it; they were vaguely feuding a month ago
They finally graphic’d the new trios’ rules as the HOB made their first Dynamite appearance in over a month:
- 20 count
- Any 3 competitors can form a trio
- No rope breaks
- Dq’s are enforced
- Dealer’s choice (the challengers pick a rule)
Only the third act all show to receive their full entrance (the faces didn’t get one here).
The house lights are also gonna stay down for these it seems. Making for a very cool visual as the crowd chanted ‘House of Black’.
Malakai and Bandido got us going, Black belting him in the shins with a kick, to the corner, shots and kicks, knee to the face then a knee bar right in the middle. As Cassidy was shown watching backstage.
Bandido made the ropes but there are no breaks, instead dropping outside to break the hold before returning with a bicycle knee strike then a tag to Chuck who immediately tagged Trent: all three working over Malakai until a blind tag to Big Brody led to a senton with Trent locked in another knee bar.
Incredibly quiet so far. Could hear a pin drop.
Matthews and Trent going at it as we came back, tornado ddt and thrust kick from Trent for two.
Distraction roll-up for a Matthews two, he missed a Curb Stomp and ate a stomp from Trent out of the corner, Beretta diving for the tag to Bandido who came in via tornijo to Matthews, crucifix bomb to Brody, soaring dive onto Malakai (might’ve been someone else too, it’s too dark to see ringside) the crowd responding as he hit a gamengiri to Buddy, who met Bandido’s springboard via leaping knee-strike.
Tag to Chuck, Dante’s Inferno out of nowhere to win.
Received about the level of respect and attention both the House of Black and Trios division as a whole has in the last few months. Bandido’s hot-tag a highlight.
Cut backstage where Orange was left laying by Kyle Fletcher, who said ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie’ while holding the Int’nl title.
Jungle Boy package. Explaining how he got started training in a friend’s backyard. Wrestling’s what he always wanted to do. Even Christian vouched for him as the most talented of all the Pillars, ‘he can and will’ win the title if he keeps it together. Perry vowed to win for everyone who supports him, to show people that you can win without taking shortcuts like MJF.
‘To varying degrees’ he dislikes all of the others but it’ll be spectacular with all four going all out to win the belt.
Easily the most likeable and identifiable of the Pillars’ promos. Perry tends to do better with pre-tapes and this was certainly the case here. Liked this, he made me want to root for him.
Ricky Starks/Jay White promo – Starks is ‘sick’ of the Bullet Club. White was given no time to say anything consequential.
It’s almost as if AEW think that if people have time to pause, breathe or think, they’ll change the channel. This show is just a blur.
Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega, Steel Cage
Backstory: ‘2020 Kenny Omega’ stole Moxley’s title; ‘2023 Jon Moxley’ injured all Kenny’s friends
A solid half hour remained as Wild Thing kicked in and the cage lowered. Danielson accompanied Moxley. Omega came with only Callis. Uh-oh.
Mox met him on the ramp, the two slugging away as Danielson joined on comms. Chants of ‘Kenny’ as they brawled around ringside, Claudio and Wheeler attacking until the Young Bucks took them out with… superkicks of course.
Tossing Yuta off the stage (he landed on his feet) before taking aim at Danielson until Matt was blindsided by Castagnoli and flung off the stage to brawl down there with he and Yuta.
As Nick and Danielson went face to face until Nick launched a cross body off the stage onto the heels, all four brawling now until being separated by security.
The match finally in the cage, at least half of it. Mox still in the aisle with security. Finally the bell rang, the two slugging away once more, stinging chops, snapping jabs, Omega on top until Mox poked the eye. Omega came back quickly via running boot and You Can’t Escape.
The toys came out early, Omega reached for a barbed-wire steel chair which he flung into Moxley’s face then smashed across his back before grinding it there and launching a leaping stomp. Mox’s back all sliced up, the match with an intensity unlike anything else on the show.
As Omega ran his head repeatedly to the buckle until Mox countered by flinging him into the camera, kissing it afterward for good measure. A genuine smile on his face, his head now pouring blood too.
Kenny launched a kick from the apron but was shoved back-first into the cage attempting a springboard. Mox following up by going to work with the chair until a basement dropkick led to Omega Kintaro Crusher-ing him onto it. A bodyslam did the same before Mox cut Omega off atop the buckle for a superplex, again onto the chair and barbed-wire.
The ring half-dismantled as we returned with Mox gouging Omega’s mouth via steel rod from the turnbuckle, the crowd wild as Danielson laughed and smiled. The assault continuing, he choked Omega with the loosened ropes/cable, down into a rope-assisted Bulldog, Kenny nearly done, fighting weakly but being dropped by a boot to the face.
As Mox brought the broken glass out. Can hardly bear to watch, no way I would be if I wasn’t recapping. Hate this stuff.
Though it did allow Omega to fight back with stiff chops, Mox cutting him off, thinking Paradigm Shift onto the glass, Kenny blocking it, coming back via V Trigger, up into OWA, Mox perched precariously above the glass but slipping out into the Bulldog Choke.
Omega wilting, he managed to drag himself into position to dump Moxley back-first into the glass, Mox selling it briefly before popping back into the choke, the camera showing chunks of glass sticking out his back as he tried a piledriver, Omega countering, rolling through out of a sunset flip to blast Mox with another knee to the face.
Both down, the crowd chanting for Omega, shards of glass and blood everywhere.
To their feet, stiff open-hand slaps which Omega got the better of as he slipped behind, snapdragon blocked, V Trigger hit, another, snapdragon into the glass, Mox stumbling, only the cage holding him up as Kenny prepared another knee strike.
One which took both guys out through the cage as they spilled to ringside.
Moxley hurling him back in after grabbing a screwdriver, poised to strike as Don Callis entered, allowing Omega to strike from behind: V Trigger, One Winged Angel, 1, 2… Callis struck with the screwdriver!
Allowing Mox to take the win.
That swerve was stupid, Callis allowed Moxley to be hit with the move no-one kicks out of when Omega was down anyway. Otherwise liked the twist, even if I did expect it. And it finally paves the way for the Elite to reunite as proper good guys.
On his knees, bleeding from the forehead, Omega readied himself for the death blow as Callis leered with the screwdriver. Instead, Callis whispered something and threw him to the mat. At least thus far, it does not seem Callis is allied with the BCC.
Strong end to the show. Though no explanation of where either Hangman or Takeshita were.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Next Rampage (Sat @ 9 Eastern):
- Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs Butcher, Blade & Kip Sabian
- Action Andretti (remember that guy?) vs Kyle Fletcher
- Toni Storm vs Allysin Kay
- The Gunns’ promo
- Swerve and Brian Cage vs Silver & Reynolds (that’s a sleeper, should be good)
- Chris Jericho vs Roderick Strong, Falls Count Anywhere, JAS & Cole banned from the building
- Jamie Hayter, Britt Baker & Hikaru Shida vs the Outcasts
- Ricky Starks vs Jay White (so a tag at the ppv then?)
Double or Nothing:
- Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal vs FTR, Mark Briscoe special ref, Tag Titles
- Rey vs Claudio
- Orange vs Garcia
- Separate Pillars’ packages – Perry’s in partic
- Moxley vs Omega & the strong closing angle
- Disgusting exploitation of real-life tragedies
- Very rushed show, hardly even time for entrances
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.