AEW Dynamite tonight comes to us from the Broadmoor World Arena in Denver, CO. After last week drawing 923,000 & 0.29 in the 18-49 demo.
Orange Cassidy vs Swerve Strickland (International Title)
Backstory: The final two in the DoN battle royal, Swerve then defeated Big Bill & Trent to get this shot
Might be the last time Cassidy opens the show for a while – smells like a title change. Sounds and looks like a decent crowd as the announcers further emphasized Cassidy’s busy schedule of defenses.
Strickland brought Prince Nana with him but left the rest of his gang behind as they showed his route to this match.
A disinterested Cassidy chilled in the corner as the crowd chanted for him. The announcers again emphasized his various bandages and injuries. As Cassidy went right to the pockets. Swerve avoided the various shenanigans: countering out of an armdrag, blocking the double-leg lift and avoiding a clothesline.
Then wrestled the champ down to grab a quick one count. Before working a head/face lock, keeping Cassidy grounded as he switched to working over the hand. Orange rolled his way free, into a modified abdominal stretch.
Then up into a tejeiras, before baiting and olay-ing Swerve through the ropes, only for the challenger to bait Cassidy outside by putting his hands in his pockets. Where he began to fling Orange into the barricades and smashed his Punch hand twice against the ringpost.
Back inside, he hit a running elbow in the corner, caught Cassidy on his shoulders – Cassidy tried to counter via hurracanrana to the outside, Swerve landed on his feet with Orange still atop his shoulders. Where Cassidy finally hit the hurracarana. Then a tope.
Back inside, to the top: diving cross body, Swerve slugged him, flung him to the apron, went upstairs, Cassidy met him there, both crashed down to the ringside mats.
Both blocked moves until Swerve hit a boot, Cassidy responded via superkick, Swerve looked for a suplex, Cassidy got stundog, Swerve missed a dropkick but rolled into his leaping flatliner to catch Cassidy coming off the ropes.
Things’re picking up.
Holding the champ by the hair, Strickland fired gut shots, Cassidy baited him into a backslide for two, up into a tornado ddt for another, the crowd firmly behind him. As he headed upstairs. Swerve to the apron, where he snatched Cassidy off into a DVD onto the hardest part of the ring.
Before Swerve hopped up top, readying the Stomp, Cassidy backed himself out of range, both on the apron, where Orange hit a big boot, another, a third, Strickland wobbling before being planted with a ddt off the apron to the floor. Another followed from the top for 2.9.
Frustrated, he looked for the Punch, Swerve blocked it but was hit with a hurracanrana into a pin for another very close call. Cassidy unable to maintain his grip due to his injured hand.
Nana hit the apron, only serving to distract Strickland, allowing for the Punch, Beach Break, Swerve kicked out! So close. He immediately rolled outside to safety.
The crowd chanting TiA as Orange flung himself after Swerve via tope, only to be caught into a brainbuster at ringside. Chants of AEDub now as they returned to the ring, Swerve missing his leaping heelkick, Cassidy bagging two via rollup, Swerve hitting the heelkick, to the top, Stomp ready, Stomp hit, another kickout!
JML Driver ready, counter, both rolled in and out of pins, until Cassidy finally managed to hold Strickland down for three by grabbing the tights (which Swerve had also tried to do).
In disbelief, Swerve looked on as his boys hit the ring to beat down Cassidy. Until the lights went out. For quite a long time. Coming back up to reveal Sting and Darby in the ring – with weapons – the crowd wild, the heels powdering.
Fantastic opener. Honestly surprised Swerve didn’t win. But that’s the beauty of this run and simple story. It’s fun to actually wonder who’ll win.
Winner: Orange Cassidy
Jay White/Ricky Starks package hyping the main event. Ricky said he had no boundaries. White said it was his era.
Bryan Danielson’s music hit as Excalibur called him the greatest wrestler of all time and revealed his challenge to Kazuchika Okada. They played a package of the pair’s promos from last weekend. The gist being they both think they’re the best. Danielson vowed to ‘leave (Okada) in the desert, and there ain’t gonna be no rain’. Nice line.
Thought he might be coming out for a promo to properly hype that match for people who don’t watch New Japan. But no, he’s hitting the commentary booth again.
Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs Best Friends & Rocky Romero
Backstory: BCC’s opponents here are part of Okada’s CHAOS faction, who BCC are feuding with in NJPW (& Danielson challenged Okada for Forbidden Door)
I get that this theoretically continues the feud, but unless there’s some sort of angle here, it’s a pointless match to which we all know the outcome.
Excalibur explained the whole ‘CHAOS’ thing. ‘It’s interesting that these are the people Okada likes to hang out with’ noted Danielson. As Wild Thing hit to a huge pop. Continues to be a mindF.
Barely had Mox made it over the barricade when Chuck threw a chair, Rocky came off the top and Trent hauled Yuta upstairs for a superplex. Taylor hit a stuffed piledriver, two only – Castagnoli making the save.
Allowing Yuta to tag him in. The Swiss went to work booting Taylor against the ropes, Mox in, Trent and Yuta fighting outside as all six squared off in a chaotic brawl in and outside the ring. Taylor hit a plancha to someone – then the faces did a triple stupid-hug.
Before Trent planted Mox with soulfood half and half – Danielson incredulous at the lack of a cover. Yuta and Claudio combined for a Hart Attack and a stomp.
Taylor fought off Yuta who bounced back to hit a German then a knee strike in the corner. Double tags – Trent and Mox, the face on top: backdrop, chops against the ropes, Mox hit a boot, Romero came in to hit a hurracanrana, another, Roppongi Vice hit a double knee strike to Mox, Romero off the top, Trent a shining wizard, two only.
Moxley had Trent setup for a piledriver, Beretta countered to hit Strong Zero with Chuck. Claudio in and quickly out via back body drop.
Romero in, flying cross-armbreaker to Mox, locked in dead-center, as Beretta looked for a moonsault to Claudio outside and was met with an uppercut. As we returned to the ring with Mox having countered into a Bulldog choke for the tap, Yuta firing H&A elbows to Taylor, even after the bell had already rung.
Frenzied action; outcome too predictable.
The crowd sang the heels’ theme and celebrated their victory.
This was classic AEW – assuming people already know who Okada is, why he’s important, and how big a match vs Danielson is. Essentially, if you’re not a hardcore fan, you probably don’t know and they didn’t bother to tell you. So why would you care? They needed to do much more to put that match across to their worldwide tv audience.
Hung Bucks backstage – Page congratulated the BCC on their win. Next week AEW are in Washington, where Dynamite started. Anarchy(itA) was only the beginning. Essentially, they challenged Mox, Claudio and Yuta to a six-man. Danielson accepted from the commentary booth. Noting that the first Dynamite was the Elite’s first appearance on national tv. And next week will be their last.
Glad they’re continuing this even amidst all the Forbidden Door stuff.
No mention of Kenny this week.
Video package hyping Omega vs Ospreay II. Ospreay vowed to bring the IWGP US title back to Japan. Again, a ton of assuming. There was nothing here to explain any of this to anyone who doesn’t watch everything both companies do.
The fans were already chanting ‘MJF’ before his music even hit.
Max heeled on the local crowd for two solid minutes – ‘Colorado, your mother swallows’ – before moving on to the lack of competition for his title. Adam Cole and his music disagreed.
Though MJF made them ‘cut it’ before the ‘BAY BAY’ crowd participation part. To boos. Max said he was excited, finally some worthy competition. He’s a ‘big fan’ of Cole. After CM Punk ‘left me when I was a kid’, he tuned into Ring of Honor (asking the crowd if they’d even heard of it). Which mostly featured ‘jabronis’. Other than Adam Cole.
Max was ‘instantly hooked’, watching everything of Cole’s he could get his hands on. Then he became ‘Shawn Michaels’ hand-picked guy’, ‘the best champ in the history of that company’, ‘and that is Undisputed’.
The crowd chanted ‘mark!’. Max agreed. He’d looked forward to the day they could meet in the ring, until Cole actually got to AEW. Making fun of him for playing video games. And for Britt being in control of him. Then making fun of his current physique.
Before referencing people online saying the company wasn’t ‘showcasing’ Cole properly. But Max disagreed, the company had tried everything to make Cole seem ‘cool’. While the only thing MJF needs to seem ‘cool’ is for the bell to ring. He’s beaten ‘every top guy’. What makes Cole think he’s different?
Then referred to Vince McMahon, by name, not believing Cole had ‘top guy potential’. Max said he was a ‘big fan’ of Vince. And at the time didn’t understand how anyone could not see ‘top guy’ in Cole. But now, ‘I think Vince was right’.
After standing and taking all of that, Cole finally took the mic. To wonder if that was the best Max could do. He’s going to ignore the Britt part since she could beat up Max anyway. But why’s he so obsessed with other peoples’ relationships? Maybe because his fiancée left him?
Then called him a ‘world class douchebag’. Before flipping the ‘body’ comment into ‘my body of work’ – ‘you can’t touch me’. He then dared Max to join him in taking a piss test to see ‘who’s natural and who’s not’.
‘We are nothing alike’. The people in the back respect Cole. There isn’t a single one who respects MJF. He does the ‘bare minimum’ to collect his paycheck and his title. Reiterating that ‘no-one respects you!’ Sparking a ‘no respect’ chant from a very good crowd.
‘That’s an awful lot of tough talk coming from Keith Lee’s manager’, responded MJF. (Is it okay to hate the insider stuff and still laugh?)
Cole said that was classic – if Max was really tough, he’d be challenging Cole by now, but instead he’s trying to change the subject. ‘If you remember anything from our conversation, remember this – you won’t fight me, cause I’m better than you, and they (pointing to the crowd) know it’.
Max snapped, vowing to wrestle Cole any day of the week. Cole gave him a patronizing ‘attaboy’ after manipulating the champ, then did his ‘BAY BAY’ thing the crowd were deprived of on the way in.
I loathe all this insider stuff. Cole was pretty good but this didn’t make me remotely interested in seeing this match. Maybe they can fight in Vince McMahon’s office next with a huge banner in the back saying ‘WWE #1’?
They showed footage of Matt Hardy and etc. winning Ethan Page’s contract. Then went to them backstage. Unfortunately, Brother Zay was there too.
Jeff told Page he was really good. Matt made Ethan apologize for nearly breaking Zay’s neck. Zay kinda accepted. Matt said he could make Page a better man. Zay ‘moaned’.
And I thought it was a shame the heels didn’t manage to injure him for longer.
Jack Perry & Hook vs La Faccion Ingobernables (Tornado Tag)
Backstory: Perry saved Hook from an attack by LFI last week
AEW seem to have dropped the JungleHook name.
The heels attacked while the faces were making their entrance. Perry flung Dralistico into a Hook hip-toss. Hook then stalked Jose round ringside and somehow couldn’t see Preston Vance round the corner, even though he was visible on camera. He walloped Hook with a lariat.
In-ring, Dralistico choked Perry with a chain. In the crowd, Hook wailed away on Vance with crossfaces.
Dralistico hit a stomp off the buckle as Hook hip-tossed Vance back over the barricade to ringside. Then clocked him with a chain-assisted punch. Vance was pouring blood afterward. (Might’ve been hard way. Still overdone.)
Perry hit him with a tope suicida, Dralistico followed via diving cross body. The heels looked to chokeslam Hook through a table at ringside, Hook nearly Big E’d Dralistico with a throw (I say it to make a point, no-one should be suplexing anyone outside like that).
Inside, Vance choked Hook with the chain then dragged him to the apron, Perry hit him in the head with a chair, Hook T-Bone’d him off the apron through the table. And somehow it wasn’t the finish. Both covered in blood.
Perry went after Dralistico, Jose interfered, Perry backed Jose into Redrum then drop toe hold-ed and Snare Trapped his way to victory over Dralistico.
This was gross. Perry’s stuck back in the mid card. More importantly, a nothing middle-of-the-show match was filled with stupidly dangerous bumps and pints of blood.
A lot of people are now pretty convinced Perry will use Hook for a heel turn. If that does happen, it shouldn’t be until All Out at the absolute minimum.
Winner: Jack Perry & Hook
Tony Khan’s latest announcement. The main event at the inaugural Collision will be:
Jay White, Juice Robinson & Samoa Joe vs FTR & CM Punk
Ouch! The response was even worse this week: from middling to boos. Punk’s supposedly asked to work with both White and Joe and we know his relationship with FTR. Should be a belter of a match. And a nice spot for White to be in assuming he remains there. Also makes one think he’s probably winning later?
Anyway, stay tuned for next week’s announcement of Collision’s lighting and ring crews.
Konosuke Takeshita vs Damon Ace
Takeshita came out to no music. He and Callis got some boos but nothing close to last week. Excalibur did at least name Takeshita’s opponent as he went right to ground and pound then threw knees in the corner.
The import smashed Ace with a forearm to the back of the head then a running knee strike to bag the quick win.
Boos got a little stronger as Callis hit the ring. And stronger still as he began to speak. Takeshita again cut an aggressive promo in Japanese – ‘Kenny Omega’ the only thing in English.
Callis said he was here to tell us about Omega. Everything he and the Elite have is because of Callis. Omega beat Ospreay because of Callis. He won’t stop till he takes Omega out of the company.
Takeshita’s facials and demeanor etc. are excellent. They scream ‘heel’. For a guy who can’t communicate verbally, those things are very important.
Winner: Konosuke Takeshita
Alex Marvez was outside Christian Cage’s locker room. There were grunts from inside. Christian said Arn Anderson cost him the title. Since he did that, he’s taking something from Arn. Luchasaurus exited, revealing a bloody and beaten Brock Anderson.
Kris Statlander vs Anna Jay (TBS)
Backstory: Zip, Zilch, Zero
Matt Menard followed Anna to the ring. So no need to wonder why his nipples are hard this week 😉.
Statlander got a nice pop from the crowd.
Right to a lockup, headlock, takedown, Jay slipped out to grab a headscissors. The pair wrestled in and out of the headlock/headscissors for a couple minutes. As Taz confusingly heeled on Matt Menard.
Anna looked for a headlock of her own, Statlander countered into a belly to back, kipping up to bask in the cheers of the crowd and flex. A genuine smile on her face. Until Jay bailed outside, playing hide and seek until Menard distracted the champ, though Statlander was ready, catching a kick and tripping Jay down to the apron.
And following her inside to launch a roundhouse and a shoulder tackle for barely two. Statlander missed a charge in the corner, allowing Jay to strike with a very nice roundhouse of her own as the ads arrived.
Back on top, Statlander didn’t miss this time with a charge in the corner, a running knee lift then an explosive powerslam for two. As Taya Valkyrie again looked furious watching backstage.
The champ went topside, Menard hit the apron, Jay clocked Statlander and hooked her onto her back for a face-first slam and two of her own. Right to the Queenslayer, Statlander backed Jay to the corner to free herself, hit a discus lariat, Menard hit the apron AGAIN.
Allowing Jay to roll her through into the Queenslayer on the mat. Statlander powered to her feet, snapmared herself free, backbreaker/lariat combo, tombstone, win.
This was pretty entertaining. Certainly better than I expected: Statlander was over, her moves were crisp and explosive.
Would’ve been even better if it ended just a couple minutes earlier when the crowd were at their hottest (and of course without the excessive interference). Would’ve made it seem more of a statement win.
Backstage, Taya continued to look furious.
Winner: Kris Statlander
Toni Storm & Ruby Soho backstage to address the Rampage four-way. They’ll ‘be watching’ since the winner will face the ‘greatest women’s champion who ever lived’. Soho again fawned over Storm.
Jay White vs Ricky Starks (Juice Robinson & FTR banned)
Backstory: The culmination of Starks’ feud with Bullet Club Gold after he and White wrestled to a non-finish last time
Either way this finishes will be interesting: Starks has gone flat since defeating Jericho; White’s run so far has been underwhelming. Both need the win.
I’m thinking Samoa Joe actually helps White win now after that Collision match was announced.
Starks hit the ramp to attack White while he was making his entrance, fists firing, stomps and gut shots. Into the ring, he immediately flung White back out, introducing him to the barricade then flinging a chop before kissing the hand of a lady at ringside (love the way Starks genuinely interacts with the fans).
After being sent back in, White rolled out the other side only to be met there and hit with more of the same. White tried a shot from the apron as they briefly made it to the ring. Starks blocked it and sent him back out. This is 100% Starks thus far.
With Starks setting up the ring steps, White tried to flee, Starks caught him atop the ramp, continuing the beating, looking to fling White off the stage; White raked the eyes before making a beeline for the ring. But being dragged back out, where he finally got some offense in, dropping Starks face-first against the apron.
Only to be suplexed onto the ringside mats.
Ads. It’s certainly not been bad but Starks has totally dominated so far. Making it seem even more likely the new boy’s winning.
Ricky down as we returned, he stumbled up to eat chops in the corner, White very deliberately sizing him up. Allowing Starks to fire rights but be cut-off looking for a tornado ddt and dumped nads-first atop the buckle.
Hauling Ricky off via superplex, White bagged two with the first pin attempt of the match. Then signalled Bladerunner. Starks blocked it, White missed a charge in the corner, Starks blasted him with a lariat, tornado ddt, high stack, close two.
Getting the same result via uranage, Starks tried to hook Roshambeaux, White dead-weighted him to plant him with a high-angle uranage for two. Great-looking move.
To their feet, chops and slaps in the middle, White kicked the knee then got his knee up to block a Spear, Bladerunner attempt countered, White slipped behind, Starks freed himself to hit the ropes then a Spear. Roshambeaux ready, he hit it but White’s feet clipped the ref (groan).
The Gunns came out to hit Starks with their finish. White dragged a groggy Starks up into the Bladerunner to ensure the win.
Guess the Gunns are Bullet Club Gold. Though they fled through the crowd. As Juice Robinson hit the ring to hump the mat and hold White’s arm aloft.
After last week’s excellent show, this was a fitting end to this one. Bad-WWE style booking seeing one guy dominate and the other win on a fluke since they didn’t really want either to lose.
No idea what this was supposed to achieve. Because Starks was so dominant, it didn’t even hit the heights it could’ve in-ring.
And the only good stuff tonight was the in-ring. And that’s why they can’t sell tickets.
Winner: Jay White
- Lucha Bros & Bandido vs Ethan Page, Lee Moriarty & Big Bill (TF? Weren’t they ‘Deleted’?)
- Will Hobbs vs TBA
- Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs Spanish Announce Project
- Britt Baker vs Skye Blue vs Mercedes Martinez vs Nyla Rose (Winner gets a shot at Women’s Title)
- Hung Bucks (Young Bucks & Hangman Page) vs Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
- Toni Storm vs Winner of Four-Way (Women’s Title)
- Mogul Embassy vs Darby Allin, Sting, Orange Cassidy & Keith Lee
- MJF vs Adam Cole (World Title Eliminator)
- Samoa Joe, Jay White & Juice Robinson vs CM Punk & FTR (More boos & indifference when the graphic was shown)
- Kenny Omega vs Will Ospreay, IWGP US Title
- Kazuchika Okada vs Bryan Danielson
- Cassidy vs Swerve
- Great crowd – they were into everything and everyone
- Dismal job building or explaining the two big matches for Forbidden Door
- Max’s continued insider references
- The booking in general, exhibited nowhere better than the main event
Appreciate you reading. Have a good week.