AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from the Moody Center in Austin, Tx. After last week drawing 877,000 & 0.32 in the 18-49 demo.
First thoughts on Collision? The artwork sucks – looks too much like Nitro. As the Ed. noted in the newsletter, though he’s not a miserable bastard like me so he was being positive.
Second thoughts, no brand split = good.
Continuing the WCW theme, a wolf’s howl kicked off the show as Wardlow headed to the ring. Healthy ‘Wardlow’ chant from what looks a healthy crowd. Straight to business, the big man said Christian last week made a lot of promises he wonders if the vet’ll follow through on, demanding he come out and try to spit in his face.
Captain Cheap Heat obliged, Luchasaurus in tow. Face to face, neither with a mic, Christian said Wardlow was done as champ, Wardlow grabbed him by the throat, he and Luchasaurus slugged it out, Cage was about to be powerbombed when Saurus’ distraction allowed Cage to hit a low blow.
The vet launching shots from the mount after beckoning Saurus to grab a ladder. Hope this isn’t going where I think it is. He then had Luchasaurus chokeslam Wardlow onto the propped-up ladder, bending it in half. Cage then posed with the belt.
Wardlow continues to be booked into the ground. He looked stupid here, calling out the heels and quickly getting his ass kicked. And this is not a match that needs or is ready for a stip. like a ladder. Nor should Christian be competing in one at his age. He’s done enough of them.
They then recapped Don Callis’ attack on Kenny Omega last week. He’ll attempt to explain his actions later.
And of course, there’s only one man who can open up Dynamite:
Darby Allin & Orange Cassidy vs Big Bill & Lee Moriarty
Both heels came out to Moriarty’s theme. Why did they sign Big Bill again? And why are Firm members teaming up after it was ‘deleted’?
Cassidy’s back was all taped-up as Moriarty fired uppercuts before the two rolled in and out of one-counts, the crowd counting along with every number. Hands in the pockets, he propelled Moriarty up into the air with his feet then tagged Darby as Big Bill came in too.
Dumping the title contender with ease via spinning chokeslam. Allin paint-brushed him, bridged him outside, propelled Moriarty into him before both faces hit stereo suicides to a nice response from the crowd. Excalibur put across that they’d been teaming on house shows, the crowd hot for both as the ads arrived.
Bill was on top as we returned, Cassidy in a delayed suplex, Allin tagging himself in but the ref didn’t see. The crowd hot at that as Bill mocked Cassidy’s pockets thing – Orange leapfrogged free but his back seized-up and he couldn’t get the tag.
Moriarty in to block it too, Cassidy slipped behind out of a suplex and collapsed into the tag, Allin launching a springboard at both, crashing into each repeatedly across opposite corners until being snatched into a chokeslam but fighting his way free.
Moriarty went after his leg, both heels in for ages simultaneously until Bill bagged two via a nice Bossman slam. ‘Let’s go Darby!’ This crowd is great so far.
Fighting free of a double team, he tagged Cassidy: tornado ddt to Bill, Moriarty rolled him up for two, spinning slam into a crossface, Cassidy fought free, tag to Allin, both set Moriarty atop the buckle before dragging him off via superplex. Orange again selling the back as Bill came in to run through both faces via clothesline.
A Big Bill suplex was turned into a very lick stundog/code red combo, another double team leading to a Beach Break on Moriarty, Cassidy Orange Punched Bill off the apron as Allin came off the top via Coffin Drop. Only to haul Moriarty up to pin him via headlock takeover.
Really good opener with two guys the crowd loved, great energy, great synergy too from what could be an excellent babyface tag team.
Only nitpick, I kinda accept the ‘anyone’s legal’ stuff in trios and Lucha matches. But it’s too much in tags. And happened throughout here.
Winner: Darby Allin & Orange Cassidy
Alex Marvez with the Bucks in the parking lot looking for an update on Kenny, getting no further than ‘He’s banged up’ before the BCC (sans Danielson) circled behind. Nick was dumped on a car’s hood by Claudio, Yuta blasted Matt’s arm into a car too. Mox said ‘We are the Elite in this business, the only Elite in this business’.
Nice line which would’ve been a much simpler and better way to explain this feud at the outset.
Wardlow being looked over by the doc. An angry Arn Anderson approached, saying he should’ve been out there. Asking Wardlow to stop protecting him. He’s seen what Christian can do, ‘what’re you prepared to do?’
And yep, the champ demanded a ladder match. This shocked the announcers. This match is such awful booking. It’s a stip for the sake of a stip. Utterly meaningless.
Renee backstage with Orange to ask about Kyle Fletcher. He told any contenders that if they wanted a shot they could go see Tony Khan and ask to face him at Double or Nothing. A concerned Renee asked for a chair for the suffering champ.
Sammy Guevara vs Exodus Prime
Knee strike, GTHH, which this week stood for Go The Hell Home.
Grabbing a mic, he talked about the struggles he’d had here before getting to AEW but they all made him who he is today. He’s not perfect, he’s made mistakes. Sometimes it takes a few wrong turns to get to the right place. And the right place is at DoN.
He listens to what’s in his heart. And his heart says he will be the new AEW champ. Mic drop.
This is either the strangest U-turn from money-grubbing heel to follow your dreams babyface in history. Or it’s setting up a Swerve Bro! at the ppv as Sammy does indeed lay down for the money.
Decent number of cheers here for Sammy.
Winner: Sammy Guevara
Package recapping all Four Pillars from their starts in the company until now. Nothing special.
Schiavone called Jarrett, Lethal etc. to the ring. Dutt had guitars with ‘Dax’ and ‘Cash’ written on them. As FTR attacked from behind, shoving Singh off the stage, brawling with the J’s, Dax undressing Lethal as Cash smacked Jarrett which a chair.
‘FTR’ chants from the crowd as they brought Jarrett into the ring, readying the Shatter Machine until Karen Ang – sorry Jarrett low blowed them. Yaaaay, the whole family’s here. Anyone else from TNA want to join? There’s a new show coming.
Singh recovered just in time to chokeslam both champs before they broke yet more guitars. Still no dimes drawn, RIP Mike Graham.
They posed with the belts. Gee, what a novel ending after a heel attack. That last happened a whole thirty minutes ago.
Renee with Darby. The headlock takeover was a direct message to MJF. As Sammy interrupted, to say he took Darby’s words to heart a few weeks ago when he told him to stop being a follower. Whoever it is, ‘one of us needs to take the belt off that prick’. Sammy held out a fist, Allin reciprocated – ‘May the best man win’.
I’ve both really liked and hated parts of this story. But at the very least I’m intrigued at where the characters will end up. There’s a decent chance any one of the three will turn at the ppv.
Britt Baker & Hikaru Shida vs the Outcasts (Toni Storm & Ruby Soho)
Backstory: Short-ish version – Shida sided with the Originals after returning recently, tricking and destroying the Outcasts with a kendo stick
Jamie’s not cleared here (not sure if that’s legit or story), so the six-person’s been made a tag. Presumably this sets up Hayter’s challenger for the ppv she doesn’t have one?
Shida has new music. Didn’t like it as much as her previous theme on first listen. As they replayed her return last week. She and Britt fist-bumped before making their way down to the ring.
Where the heels raced at them: Shida countered a hip attack via hurracanrana, dumping Soho onto Storm via snap suplex before throwing punches in the corner, the crowd solidly behind her.
Missile dropkick to Ruby, who blocked a suplex and tagged out, Storm stomping away, Shida briefly fighting back but cut off only to come back via enziguri, tag to Britt, flurry of shots to the face, spinning neckbreaker, two slaps of the mat.
Curb Stomp ready, Saraya grabbed her leg, setting up Toni hip-attacking her off the apron, where Saraya threw knees to the gut while the ref was being read a bedtime story. Baker back inside, being stomped down in the corner two-on-one as the break beckoned.
Boot up in the corner, Baker hit a neckbreaker to Toni, both down, Shida ready for the tag, Britt struggling, finally getting there, Ruby in too. Elbow strikes exchanged, Soho down to her knees before a running elbow dropped her, Storm and Saraya fought off, all three heels sent outside where Shida hit a diving cross body. The crowd hot for her again as she bagged two on Soho after a leaping knee.
Storm in illegally once more, Shida fought her off, Falcon Arrow to Ruby for two. Britt in, butterfly suplex, meteora off the top from Shida, Storm made the save as Britt forced Toni to ddt her own partner.
Lockjaw ready, Ruby rolled her up for two, hit No Future, tag to Storm, Britt countered into an air raid crash, hit the stomp, Saraya hit the apron, the ref was with her for ages AGAIN, Storm used the spraypaint to bag the pin.
The refs in AEW must have to pool braincells just to open the door to their locker room.
Largely fun match before the best crowd for a women’s match in ages. Shame about the usual lame interference. Shida exceptionally over and looked really good. Excalibur emphasized Storm’s recent winning record. So seems it’s a rematch from Full Gear for the belt.
Winner: the Outcasts
Renee with Cassidy once more. Apparently twenty people went to talk to Tony. Cassidy said he guesses he’ll fight them all. In a Black Jack Battle Royal since he makes 21. Unless Renee wants to be in it too? She declined.
Really hope this isn’t where he loses it. They’ve done such a good job emphasizing how beat up he is that he really needs to lose it in a singles. Preferably to a heel who’s had more than a slither of tv time.
They finally remembered there was a big grudge match tonight, the first mention of Jericho/Strong. So either Starks/White or Perry/Rush is the main event. Neither seems like one. Then again, neither does Jericho/Strong.
Tony Khan reiterated the earlier announcement of Collision, the new show on Saturday nights. Pretty muted crowd response. Ton of the first episodes in Canada, including the night before Forbidden Door. Next week, he’ll announce where the premiere will be taking place (It was certainly supposed to be Chicago, though there was no mention of Punk today when WBD announced the show).
Chris Jericho vs Roderick Strong, Falls Count Anywhere, JAS & Adam Cole banned from the building
Backstory: Strong challenged Jericho last week after he again called his friend Cole a coward, Jericho accepted thinking he had the JAS in his pocket, only for Strong to have them banned
After the heel Jericho was sung to the ring, the face Strong attacked while he had his back turned, hitting a ton of running elbow strikes and chops until a chop battle ensued, ended by a Strong knee lift before a suplex bagged an early two.
Another exchange saw Jericho clothesline Strong outside, the pair fighting on the apron where Strong hit a belly to back. Count of two on the outside. Where Strong fired more stiff chops and forearms; Jericho responding via knee to the gut then flinging Strong into the table at ringside.
Jericho’s chest bleeding as they made their way back inside. Where a Codebreaker was blocked, Jericho countered back into the Walls, synching back, right in the middle, Strong finally grabbing the bottom rope, tumbling outside to bring the break.
Up in the stands with the fans, Strong bagged two on the stairs, the pair making their way into the arena corridors. As Excalibur announced that Superstar Billy Graham just passed away. RIP. While Jericho smashed Strong through a table via suplex. Not the best timing but can’t be helped.
Brawling along the corridor, a flood of fans following, Jericho went after Strong with a stanchion as the crowd loudly chanted ‘Y2J’. They fought onto a ledge above some stairs, exchanging more stinging chops, count of two for Jericho. Before coming back into the corridor, flurry from Strong, he poured ice cream onto Jericho before eating some himself, and why the hell not! Looked good too.
The brawl continuing, Jericho using something out of trash can to wipe his face clean, the ‘Y2J’ chants following as they made their way outside the building, Storm begging off, as Adam Cole appeared behind the Ocho. That was clever – Strong leading Jericho to right where Cole could get him.
Cole blasted Jericho with the Boom, Strong hit a leaping knee to bag the win. A little surprised at Jericho losing here. Cole kinda got his revenge and Britt certainly wasn’t selling any after-effects during her match.
Very entertaining brawl.
Winner: Chris Jericho
Jack Perry vs Rush
Forgoing the shenanigans, a stern-looking Perry marched straight to the ring. And was immediately sent back out via clothesline, Rush running him round ringside, aggressively flinging him into every barricade he saw.
Then repeatedly smashing his head into the barricade before trash talking MJF via the camera and posing in the ring. The beating continuing as he flung Perry over the barricade into the fans as the break beckoned.
Someone needs to teach that ref how to count to ten. Any kindergarten teachers in the crowd? Perry absolutely annihilated thus far.
Fighting back, Perry hit a clothesline out of the corner which Rush no-sold, planting him with a headbutt, Perry bleeding from the forehead but firing chops, a kick to the stomach and high dropkick finally taking Rush down, Perry firing up but running into a thrust kick, Rush heading upstairs; Perry meeting him up top.
Where another chop fight took place before Perry took him down via leaping hurracanrana. As Jose grabbed the boot, didn’t matter, Perry hooked the Snare Trap anyway, right in the middle; Rush got the ropes.
Should’ve been the finish.
On the apron, Rush tasted Perry’s blood before they blistered one another once more, Rush then flung a running Perry off the apron via overhead belly to belly. I audibly gasped, he came so close to landing right on his head.
Dragging him inside, Rush got two with a cocky one-footed cover. Then stomped away in the corner before shoving the ref away; Perry rolled him up for three. What the utter f***!????
Rush and Vance began beating down Perry, Darby Allin tried to make the save but got beat down too, the crowd chanting for Sammy who was supposed to have left the arena.
But evidently decided to return, running through the heels, he and Darby removing Preston Vance before the three title challengers locked eyes.
The booking in this match was utter, utter, complete and total s***. If you asked a first-time viewer which of the two in that match was going for the title, they would’ve said Rush. Without hesitation.
In a continuing theme, the action around the booking was very good. An intense match.
And I do like the emphasis that MJF doesn’t have to lose to lose his belt, that’s crucial to this match, it’s the only thing that makes it interesting.
Winner: Jack Perry
MJF backstage with Renee. He’d been watching what just happened and wasn’t happy. She emphasized that he didn’t need to be pinned or submitted to lose. He slapped the mic away. Mox gon’ give it to ya for that.
They replayed footage of Toni Storm injuring Jamie Hayter’s shoulder as Toni cut a promo saying that while she’s winning four matches in five nights (they didn’t say where or who against) Jamie’s doing nothing of the sort. Becoming angrier as she went, Storm emphasized that she’s not the same person who faced Jamie in November and if she’s got any guts she’ll face her at Double or Nothing.
Pretty good promo here, achieving being a little unhinged without overacting.
Ricky Starks vs Jay White
Backstory: White debuted by attacking Starks, then did so again after he beat his partner Juice Robinson last week
If Ricky Starks’ win over Jericho at the last ppv had been followed-up on, if Jay White had been portrayed as a big deal since arriving, if this feud hadn’t been so stop/start, this would absolutely be a valid main-event. But none of those things happened.
Though thinking about it we still haven’t heard from Callis.
Jay White twice bailed outside before taking advantage as Ricky followed him back in. Didn’t last long, Starks stomping away in the corner, White again headed outside, again taking advantage by flinging Starks to the apron. Starks came back by charging White to the guardrail, then had a nice interaction with fans at ringside.
Before taking things back inside as chants of ‘Ricky’ and ‘Too Sweet, Whoop Whoop’ competed among the crowd and White got two after a stun gun. Stiff chops knocked Starks to the mat, Ricky came back via back body drop then stopped to pose. Isn’t this a heated rivalry Ricky’s been ranting about during promos?
Anyway, he again paid for being dumb, pursuing White outside again and being driven into the apron again before taking more chops, briefly fighting back until distracted by Juice Robinson as competing chants again played in the crowd, about a 50/50 split.
In the corner, Starks was lighting up White with chops and stomps, White threw a knee to the gut, Ricky rebounded out of the corner with a big lariat, both guys down. Inverted atomic, running dropkick, splash in the corner, tornado ddt blocked but White ran right into an overhead belly to belly. Tornado ddt this time landed, count of two. Excellent flurry from Starks.
Who White hit with a quick kick to the midsection and ddt, very Jake the Snake, following up via running uppercut in the corner, hauling him up into a German which was blocked but landing a high-angle uranage. Starks kicked out at two.
White said it was night-night time, looking for the Bladerunner; Starks fought him off with back elbows but was dumped outside, almost smacking his previously broken neck on the apron. White hauled him back in, Starks snagged a close two via cradle, White back up to drop Starks with a chop, Ricky hit a swinging neckbreaker then got 2.9 via a suplex/slam hybrid.
Before readying Roshambeaux, White fought out, both hit the ropes, Robinson grabbed the boot, White hooked the Bladerunner, Starks slipped out into a rollup for another very close two (might’ve been three by mistake), both popped up to hit the ropes once more, Starks again readied Roshambeaux, White gouged the eyes to escape.
Robinson came in with a chair, wild swing and a miss, the ref distracted, Starks smacked Juice across the back then took the chair to White for the DQ. Very lame finish to cap a night of poor booking as the crowd booed and Robinson pulled White to safety.
Clearly there are no special plans for Jay White.
Winner: Jay White via DQ
As we sprinted away to race through upcoming matches. After announcing nothing for the ppv till 10 days before, they absolutely blazed through those announcements, barely pausing for a second on each graphic.
A flood of boos greeted Don Callis, a hoard of security lined the ramp as the crowd chanted ‘Piece of s***’. Schiavone asked him ‘Why?’
Instead, Callis wanted to talk about what Kenny did to him. He’s the victim. After everything he did for Kenny – the titles he won him, the match against Jericho in New Japan – ‘without me, there is no Kenny Omega’. As Omega’s music hit. He started attacking security until the BCC attacked.
Mox gave him a ddt on the ramp as Danielson joined them here. Mox took the mic to give Omega a ‘final warning’ to ‘stay down’, right before the Bucks’ music hit, the duo limping to the ramp with a garbage can full of weapons, the announcers emphasizing that it was still three vs four before Hangman’s music hit, the eye-patch clad Cowboy handed a broom by Omega, storming to the ring as an all-out brawl ensued (just read that back, was not intended as a ref. to Brawl Out).
Omega destroying Yuta with a trash can lid, BTE Trigger from the Bucks before they held him in place for a Buckshot. The crowd chanting ‘Cowboy S***’ as Page took the mic to proclaim that ‘we’ are the ‘heart’ and ‘soul of this place’. ‘We are… the Elite!’ Big cheer from the crowd. As Page warned the BCC to run and hide while they can because at Double or Nothing it’s the Elite vs the BCC, Anarchy in the Arena.
Page had a genuine smile on his face as the four raised each other’s arms in the ring.
Next Rampage (6.30 Eastern):
- BCC (it showed all four) vs Best Friends & Bandido
- Hear from the Hardys
- Acclaimed & Daddy Ass vs Varsity Athletes
- Jade Cargill open challenge for TBS Title
- Bishop Kaun vs Dustin Rhodes
- Lucha Bros vs Claudio & Yuta, ROH Tag Titles
Added to Double or Nothing:
- Black Jack Battle Royal for the International Title
- Wardlow vs Christian Cage, Ladder Match for TNT Title
- Toni Storm vs Jamie Hayter, Women’s Title
- The Elite vs BCC, Anarchy in the Arena
- Fantastic crowd made for a great atmosphere all show long
- Very good action all night – the show whizzed by, it certainly wasn’t boring
- Jack Perry’s booking – the entirety of this world title build varies wildly from week to week and almost segment to segment. But Perry was made to look incredibly weak here and sneaked a win over a guy we never even see on tv.
- The interference here was worse than ever
- No matches felt ‘must see’ though all were good
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.