This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Chris Jericho facing Ricky Starks and Samoa Joe defending the TNT Title against Darby Allin.
I did not review last week’s show other than a quick summary. My apologies. Life was too busy. Back to normal this week.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #170 at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
There are new graphics for the introduction and a new set with a big screen above the entrance area. They still have the “Light The Fuse” theme song that they have had since the first episode of Dynamite in October 2019. The ring apron and colors on the barricade represent the old colors still, so maybe their new colors aren’t ready for those.
It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show along with Taz and Tony Schiavone.
It was singalong time to start the show with Chris Jericho making his entrance while the fans sang “Judas” for him. It is AEW’s first Seattle show. There was a big pop for Ricky Starks for his entrance. This was set up a few weeks ago.
Chris Jericho (w/Matt Menard & Angelo Parker) vs. Ricky Starks
There were loud “Ricky” chants so Jericho did a middle finger salute to the crowd. Jericho with an armdrag, Starks hit a shoulder tackle and then they exchanged slaps. They left the ring briefly leading to Starks sending Jericho into the steel steps. Jericho worked over Starks with some light corner clotheslines. Starks held Jericho’s arm followed by a rope walk punch and a slam off the shoulders for two. Jericho and Starks battled on the apron with Jericho suplexing Starks from the apron to the floor. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
The match continued with Jericho in control, but Starks hit a clothesline. Jericho hit the mat, then looked at Parker, who hit the mat more so then the crowd started clapping. Jericho is a master at working a crowd. They exchanged chops, Starks hit a dropkick and Starks kicked Jericho in the gut followed by a Ligerbomb for two. Jericho knocked Starks down and went for a Lionsault, but Starks got the knees up to block. Starks went for a move off the middle rope, Starks jammed his knee landing, but he was fine enough to hit a superkick for a two count. Jericho avoided a corner attack leading to Jericho hitting a Codebreaker. Starks blocked the Judas Effect attempt, Jericho avoided a power move and Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho submission with the crowd screaming. Parker distracted the referee, so Menard hit Starks with the baseball bat while in the Walls of Jericho with the referee not seeing it. When the referee checked on him, Starks fought out of it and gout of the Walls of Jericho. Starks got an inside cradle for two followed by a Tornado DDT. Starks knocked Menard and Parker off the apron. Starks bounced off the ropes and hit a Spear for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ricky Starks
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good match with Starks getting a lot of offense throughout the match, which made me think he would lose. However, Jericho did a clean job just like when he lost to Action Andretti several weeks ago. Starks doesn’t use the Spear as his main finisher, but he does win with it sometimes so that’s what we saw here. Jericho won a lot as the ROH World Champion and beat a lot of people, but since then he’s lost the title clean to Claudio Castagnoli, plus the losses to Andretti and Starks as well.
Post match, Jericho’s buddies – Jake Hager with the hat, Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara – from the Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS) attacked Starks, so Action Andretti made the save with a steel chair. Andretti had visible scars on his face after Jericho burned him a few weeks ago. Anna Jay took the chair while Tay Melo did a low blow, so the JAS beat up Andretti too. Jake Hager gave Starks a Powerbomb through a table that was set up at ringside. The announcers mentioned Jericho losing two matches in a row.
Analysis: The numbers game advantage strikes again. That probably sets up a tag team match with Starks & Andretti against Jericho & Hager.
They showed the AEW commentary on the stage at their new table as they shilled what’s coming up on the show.
Let’s Hear From “Hangman” Adam Page
Tony Schiavone introduced “Hangman” Adam Page for a promo in the ring. Page said that as of today, he is not medically cleared to compete with the fans booing that news. Page said that if he is told that if he gets into another fight with Jon Moxley then that might set things back another week. Page said what he wants is next week to face Jon Moxley. Page said that he’s going to go home tonight to get a brain scan and he’ll get cleared for next week. Page said about Moxley that he will “knock your dick in the dirt.” Okay. Here comes Moxley.
Jon Moxley made his entrance in the back part of the building with Moxley looking intense like usual. Moxley was in the ring with Page with the fans chanting for Mox. Moxley said he was surprised Page even made it there after everything he’s been through. Moxley said he’s sick of the ongoing vigil for Hangman Page while the fans chanted “we can’t hear you” at Moxley. That led to Moxley getting a new microphone, so he used that. Moxley said “f**king” multiple times while it wasn’t working and then it worked so the fans cheered. Moxley talked about wrestling for two months with a torn triceps, he said nobody has gotten knocked down as much as him and seeing Hangman playing the victim makes Moxley sick. Hangman said he’s been knocked out by enemies, strangers and his best friends. Hangman said it’s an unfortunate part about what they do and he never would be mad at Mox for that. Hangman said Moxley nearly took Page’s career from him and he wanted to crack a joke. Hangman said it’s because at that moment, Moxley felt threatened. Hangman said he wasn’t there for revenge that night, but it’s what he is there for now. Hangman said that he’s two months to stew on what happened since the lariat and he’s had two lariats with Moxley’s name on them and he’ll get them at the Forum (in LA). Moxley said that the only joke that he thinks is funny is that Page thinks the next time will be different. Moxley told Page he’ll make sure that next time, Page doesn’t get back up.
Analysis: That was great just like most of their segments. Even though they are both babyfaces, there’s been a lot of great trash talk and intensity by both guys. The clothesline that Moxley hit Page with to knock him out is a spot that we see all the time in wrestling with Page doing a flip bump, but because of how Page landed, he got a concussion. Anyway, that match will be awesome when it happens. I assume Page is already cleared and likely has been, but they wanted to save it for next week’s Dynamite in LA because it’s a huge market.
A video aired featuring Samoa Joe and Darby Allin talking about Joe’s TNT Title against Allin in the main event. Joe said he is the true king of television.
The team of Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal was up first with Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh. The Acclaimed entered as the AEW Tag Team Champions with Max Caster doing a rap mentioning Jeff Jarrett’s wife Karen again, then Dixie Carter as well and said TNA stands for Total Nonstop Acclaimed. They did their “scissor me” schtick with Billy Gunn to end.
Analysis: We had several stories on TJRWrestling over the last week with Jeff’s wife Karen being mad about Max Caster’s rap song last week, which led to some strong comments from Jeff on his podcast and Bowens warning Jarrett too. All of it may have been a work, but it sure made this match feel more personal than most Dynamite matches.
AEW Tag Team Championship: The Acclaimed – Max Caster & Anthony Bowens (w/“Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn) vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal (w/Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh)
The team of Jarrett & Lethal lost clean to Sting & Darby Allin at Full Gear, but they get a title shot because Sting & Allin never get pushed to the titles despite never losing. Bowens started for the team against Jarrett, which led to Jarrett punching Caster on the apron. Caster tagged in against Lethal and did some Kurt Angle mannerisms to mock Jeff Jarrett due to the whole Karen Jarrett (she used to Karen Angle) thing. Anyway, The Acclaimed hit their double team leg drop spot on both opponents and Daddy Ass did the scissor thing to a huge pop. Lethal slapped Gunn in the head, Gunn went into the ring and the referee correctly tossed Gunn to the back. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
The challengers were in full control of Bowens. Lethal took way too long going for an elbow drop, but Bowens avoided it. Jarrett tagged in and knocked Caster off the apron to stop a tag. Bowens hit a belly to back suplex on Jarrett. Caster tagged in against Lethal leading to Caster knocking down both guys followed by a back body drop on Lethal, a superkick on Jarrett and a dive onto Lethal that didn’t look great, but it was effective. Caster jumped off the top wit ha cross body block on Lethal for two as Jarrett broke up the pin. Caster with a dropkick on Lethal, Bowens back in and Jarrett shoved Caster off the top rope to the floor. Jarrett was in the ring for way too long as they did some combination offense into a double team slam on Bowens for a two count. Singh threw Caster into the steel steps, so the referee sent Singh and Dutt to the back. The other referees went down to ringside to send Singh to the back. Bowens hit a forearm to the back of Lethal and Jarrett hit The Stroke on Bowens, who got his foot on the bottom rope, Dutt knocked the foot off the rope and the referee Stephon Smith counted the pin.
Another referee, Aubrey Edwards, saw what happened so she informed ring announcer Dasha about it and Dasha announced that the match will continue.
The match restarted, Lethal tried to cheat on a pin attempt and Bowens countered it with a pin attempt sitting on top of Lethal for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Acclaimed – Max Caster & Anthony Bowens
Analysis: ***1/4 A good tag team match with the false finish done to get some heat, but I don’t think anybody really thought that the champions would lose this match. Moments after the false finish, Bowens got the win over Lethal, so they decided to end it quickly. I thought that there could have been more interesting moments between Caster and Jarrett.
The AEW Women’s Champion Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Britt and Jamie said that Saraya doesn’t understand how things work around here. Britt said that they worked their way to the top of the AEW women’s division. Britt said no matter who Saraya’s partner is, but Saraya still hasn’t made some decision about who her partner is. Hayter said that she’s the champion, Baker said that she’s “The Boss” and Hayter is the pillar while Britt is the killer. Britt did her “DMD” sign off to end it.
Analysis: A lot of confidence shown by Hayter and Baker as usual. Since Baker said “The Boss” it’s a reference to the former Sasha Banks, who is now known as Mercedes Mone, so it will lead to people guessing that it’s her even though there was another interview later in the show that suggested otherwise.
There was a backstage promo by “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry saying for one night only, he wants to team with Hook against Big Bill and Lee Moriarty for next week’s Dynamite, which is Jack’s hometown.
Bryan Danielson vs. Tony Nese (w/Josh Woods & “Smart” Mark Sterling)
A huge ovation for Bryan Danielson, who was born in nearby Aberdeen, Washington. The crowd was going crazy for Bryan with cheering along with some “Yes” chants as usual. Woods with a distraction, Nese took down Bryan against the turnbuckle and Nese hit a running knee for two. Bryan worked over Nese with kicks in the corner followed by a running clothesline. Bryan with repeated kicks to the chest with “yes” chants, Nese blocked a roundhouse kick and gave Bryan a Powerbomb into the corner. Bryan set up in the corner leading to a Busaiko Knee to the face. Bryan stomped on Nese’s head repeatedly while the fans chanted “yes” repeatedly and Bryan applied STF-style submission with the referee calling for the bell quickly. It went about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bryan Danielson
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Bryan as it should be. Sometimes they go too long for matches like this, but in this case it was kept simple to give Bryan the big win. Nese isn’t a threat, so Bryan should beat him easily.
Let’s Hear from Bryan Danielson and MJF
Bryan Danielson did a post match promo saying it was great to be home. Bryan said that he’s feeling a little froggy and he’s ready for another fight. Bryan: “MJF, get your ass out here!”
Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance in a suit, his scarf and the AEW World Title around his waist. MJF called him “brain-damaged Bryan” and MJF said “no” to the idea of wrestling Bryan. MJF said he doesn’t care about the fans at all with MJF calling Bryan a mark. MJF said he gets a big fat check whether he wrestles or he doesn’t, which makes him a special attraction. MJF mentioned the fans chanting Bryan’s name every week over and over again. Bryan said that if Lance Storm & Dean Malenko had a child, it would still be more charismatic than Bryan. MJF said that just because Bryan looks like a goat, it doesn’t make him the GOAT. MJF said that back in 1981, Mama Danielson couldn’t find a human suitor. Bryan said that in the back, they talk about how many human suitor’s MJF’s mom has had and she might have had a few guys that are in this arena right now. Bryan asked how many fans have been with Max’s mom. MJF said that the Triple B – the World Championship – proves that he’s the best wrestler in the world. MJF ripped on journalists thinking that Bryan is the best and the marks that think Bryan is the best. MJF said that he is touted as the best in the world by people that have been in this business. The fans chanted “asshole” at MJF. That led to MJF putting over guys that like him such as Disco Inferno, Eric Bischoff and Jim Cornette. The fans booed all of that.
Bryan told MJF to shut up just like the fans were chanting “shut the f**k up” at MJF. Bryan said he’s sick of this, he hates MJF and he wants to fight. MJF said that Bryan may not realize this, but MJF came here as a favor for Bryan, who he called “kid.” Bryan is about 15 years older than MJF. Anyway, MJF said that wins and losses matter (sometimes, I guess) so if you want a title shot then you’ve got to become number one contender. The fans chanted “shut the f**k up” at MJF. That led to MJF saying he talked to the nerd Tony Khan, who said if Bryan wrestled every Dynamite until February 8th then MJF will give Bryan a match for the AEW World Title at Revolution on March 5th. Bryan said that he’ll come out here, wrestle when he wants and beat MJF when he wants. MJF said that he runs this company, not Tony Khan or the EVP. MJF said that it’s his way or it’s no way because he’ll get his lawyer Mark Sterling involved. Bryan said Mark Sterling is a horrible lawyer. Bryan said he’ll agree to the cute stipulation if MJF agrees that Bryan gets to name the stipulation for their match Revolution. MJF yelled at a woman calling her a “fat skank.” MJF told Bryan to pick any stipulation you like. Bryan said that in this stipulation, you won’t be able to get yourself DQ’d. Bryan said he wants MJF to agree to a one-hour Ironman Match. Bryan wondered if “Maxi Pad” was scared, so “Maxi Pad” chants started after that. MJF: “God dammit, you’re on!” MJF said that he’s not worried because Bryan won’t get past week one because all Bryan does is choke since he’s a choke artist. Bryan said he’ll run through every single opponent that MJF puts in front of him from now until February 8th. Bryan said when they get to Revolution, he’ll expose MJF that he doesn’t have the cardio, that he doesn’t put in the work and doesn’t have the footwork. Bryan said that MJF doesn’t wrestle all the time because he’s not good enough to wrestle every week. Bryan said after he exposes MJF, he’ll put the nail in the coffin and kick MJF’s damn head in. That ended it.
Analysis: It was a long promo that was full of information with Bryan having to go undefeated for the next month on AEW TV to get that 60-Minute Ironman Match against MJF at Revolution. That’s a great idea to do an Ironman Match because Bryan is more than capable while MJF can prove how good he is in a match like that. It’s also not a match that they do in AEW often, so it will feel fresh when they do it. Obviously, Bryan will win every match until February 8th to set up the Revolution match on March 5th. That’s a long build for their eventual match.
A video aired about Orange Cassidy defending the AEW All-Atlantic Championship at Battle of the Belts on Saturday.
Swerve Strickland vs. AR Fox
Swerve is from Tacoma, Washington so he got cheered a bit even though he’s a heel. Swerve has his Mogul Affiliates (two dudes including Parker Boudreaux) with him. They did some spots with nobody really anybody anything as they avoided eachother. Excalibur mentioned their rivalry in Lucha Underground, which is a cool reference. Swerve charged at Fox, who did a backflip out of the ring to avoid him. Fox with a kick followed by a running moonsault onto Swerve on the floor. Fox with a corkscrew brainbuster when they were back in the ring. Fox hit a corner clothesline on Swerve and the “painted face man” with the cheap shot punch on Fox. That led to Swerve hitting a running kick on Fox on the floor. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Swerve and Fox exchanged kicks, Fox with a jumping kick to the head, Swerve missed a lariat and Fox hit a jumping kick to the head. Fox hit a diving back elbow in the corner, but Swerve countered a Cutter into a suplex followed by a flatliner for two. Swerve set up Fox on the top rope, Fox got out of that and hit a Cutter. Fox with a slam off the top followed by another Cutter. Fox hit a 450 Splash off the top for a two count. The tattooed guy on Swerve’s team distracted the referee, Parker gave Fox something that Swerve used to punch Fox and Swerve gave Fox a Death Valley Driver on the apron. Swerve sent Fox back into the ring, Fox sat there for like 10 seconds while Swerve set it up and Swerve hit the Swerve Stomp off the top for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Swerve Strickland
Analysis: ***1/4 This was a fun match that was fast-paced. The key spot was Swerve using his allies at ringside for the distraction and the weapon shot that led to the DVD on the apron. They are clearly building up Swerve with wins for his showdown against Keith Lee that should probably be saved until Revolution in March, so there’s no rush to get there. Fox is a talented veteran that is going to have good matches all the time, but I don’t know if he’ll get pushed much.
The trio of Saraya, Toni Storm & Hikaru Shida were interviewed by Renee Paquette. Saraya talked about Britt Baker always trying to be a gatekeeper in AEW while Storm complained about Hayter/Baker injuring her face and taking her title. Saraya was asked about her tag partner against Baker & Hayter. Saraya said she had the best female roster in the world, the best matches in the world (For women’s wrestling? Not even close) and Saraya talked about how she is sitting next to the best wrestler in the world. Saraya told Toni that she would be her partner. Saraya rudely turned her back to Shida to talk to Storm. Shida was shocked and even Renee was shocked. Renee said it sounds like it will be official.
Analysis: I don’t know if it really means Storm will team with Saraya. I get the sense that Shida is jealous and maybe she injures Storm on Rampage or there’s also Battle of the Belts on Saturday, so maybe that Dynamite match could change. Then again, this could just be AEW’s way of telling the audience that it is Storm with Saraya and that Mercedes Mone is not going to be there. My feeling is that it will be Mercedes, but if they don’t get her signed to a contract then maybe they would be reluctant to use her. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next week.
Let’s Hear From The Gunns
The Gunns tag team of Austin & Colten Gunn had a graphic that said FTRIP that said FTRIP May 27, 2020 to December 21, 2022, which is the day that The Gunns beat FTR. The fans chanted “Ass Boys” at The Gunns with Austin saying they were there to pay their respects to FTR’s legacy. Colten talked about how FTR traveled the world and had three championships, but not AEW. Austin trashed FTR for having dad-bods and talked about how they beat FTR in the ring while mentioning that FTR lost the ROH, AAA & IWGP Tag Team Titles while claiming that The Gunns destroyed FTR’s legacy. Austin and Colten did a moment of silence, which led to boos.
The music of FTR started playing even though they were in Japan. Austin and Colten laughed about it. Austin said that FTR can wrestle for any promotion, but they will never work for AEW again. Colten claimed they are the new living legends and new top guys in the world.
Analysis: This should set up FTR beating The Gunns as payback for this lame trash talk. It was a cheap heat segment. At least it was quick.
There was a video about Game 7 in the Best of 7 Series with Death Triangle facing The Elite in a Ladder Match for the Trios Tag Team Titles.
Kiera Hogan & Skye Blue vs. Jade Cargill & Red Velvet (w/Leila Grey)
Cargill is the TBS Champion that is undefeated. Velvet has an attitude, so she’s not getting along with Cargill. Velvet and Blue did a routine of getting nearfall attempts that look like a wrestling practice. Hogan tagged in with a hip attack on Velvet along with a leg drop to the back. Blue back in with a spin kick to the head. Blue with a DDT on Velvet, Cargill tagged in and they went to a picture-in-picture break.
Jade caught Hogan and hit a spinning body slam on her for two. Velvet looked angry about something, so Jade tagged her head to bring her in. Hogan with an elbow, a corner splash and a sliding kick in the corner for two. Hogan with a suplex. Cargill tagged herself in with a kick and a thrust kick that knocked Blue off the apron. Cargill hit a Chokeslam on Hogan. Cargill told Velvet to whoop her ass, but Velvet went to the floor and refused to tag. Hogan got a rollup for two with Excalibur screaming about how Cargill might lose. Good effort, I guess. Pump kick by Cargill got the pinfall win on Hogan after seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jade Cargill & Red Velvet
Analysis: *3/4 There’s your lone women’s match on the show that is kept under ten minutes. Two weeks ago, the women main evented, but that’s rare in AEW. Jade wins every match she has. We get it. I don’t find it that interesting personally, but when somebody beats her it will be a big deal. I just don’t know who it will be or when they will do it. I don’t think the story of Velvet not liking Jade is that interesting either.
This Friday it’s AEW Rampage Live and Battle of the Belts 5 live as well on TNT. Rampage lineup has:
* Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson vs. Top Flight
* We’ll hear from House of Black
* Perro Peilgroso (Preston Vance) in action
* Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D vs. The Renegades
This Friday at Battle of the Belts it’s Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal challenging The Acclaimed for the AEW Tag Team Titles in a No Holds Barred Match. Jarrett and friends were interviewed with Jarrett complaining about the referees while saying they will be the new AEW Tag Team Champions.
This Friday at Battle of the Belts 5:
* AEW Tag Team Championships No Holds Barred: The Acclaimed vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal
* TBS Championship: Jade Cargill vs. Skye Blue. I don’t mind Skye as a talent, but she just lost in a tag team match. They didn’t do anything to build her up as a title challenger.
* AEW All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian
AEW Dynamite next Wednesday, January 11th in Los Angeles:
* Jon Moxley vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
* Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. vs. Saraya & Toni Storm
* Bryan Danielson vs. Konosuke Takeshita
* Big Bill & Lee Moriarty vs. JungleHook – Jungle Boy & Hook
* AEW World Trios Championship Best Of 7 Series: Death Triangle vs. The Elite in an Escalara De La Muerte Match (Ladder Match).
I don’t know how Excalibur gets through that entire rundown so quickly without passing out.
It was main event time with Darby Allin up first. They showed clips of Darby holding the TNT in the past while skateboarding in the streets of Seattle because he’s from there. The fans popped big for Allin’s entrance since he is from the area. Excalibur spoke about Darby being trained by Buddy Wayne, who passed away over five years ago. Allin hugged wrestler Nick Wayne at ringside, he’s a 17-year-old that has an AEW Futures Contract and he is Buddy’s son. I assume it was Wayne’s mom beside him. Samoa Joe was up next as the TNT Champion that is also the ROH TV Champion.
When Joe made his entrance, he grabbed Nick Wayne by the shirt to be a bully, so Allin hit Joe with a suicide dive. Allin attacked Joe with his dreaded skateboard. They went up the ramp towards the back with Allin jumping off the ramp with the skateboard on Joe’s back. Allin got a ladder and hit a somersault off the ladder onto a standing Joe. It was nice of multiple referees to hold the ladder, but the live shot didn’t show that. We saw it on the replay.
TNT Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Darby Allin
They went into the ring to start the match with Allin hitting a dropkick to knock Joe out of the ring. Allin went for a leaping attack, but Joe caught him with a uranage onto the steel steps. Ouch.
They did a spot during the break where Joe ran Allin’s head into the ring post leading to a painful bump to the floor. Allin jumped on Joe’s back for a choke, but Joe fell back on him to break it. Joe did a sweep kick to the leg with Allin grabbing his right knee. Allin charged, Joe caught him and Joe hit a double kneebreaker move. That was wild. Joe hit a senton splash. Joe was really methodical as he teased a Muscle Buster, but Allin got out of it and Allin hit a German Suplex while Joe pulled a turnbuckle pad off. Joe went for a choke, but Allin countered for a two count. Allin went for a flipping Stunner that didn’t work because Joe applied a sleeper only for Allin to power out of it by punching his chest. Allin sent Joe into the exposed turnbuckle and a Code Red! That was great. Allin hit a Coffin Drop to Joe’s back, Joe turned over and Allin hit a Coffin Drop again for the pinfall win after ten minutes! Huge pop for the win! Darby Allin is the new TNT Champion.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW TNT Champion: Darby Allin
Analysis: ***1/2 It was an entertaining match that was kept under ten minutes. Allin got the cheap attack before the bell, but then Joe was dominant leading to Allin selling a lot and Allin found a way to make the comeback to win. The match time seems a bit short because it was under ten minutes, but there was more action before the bell rang with Allin attacking him, so the whole thing was about 12 minutes. It felt like the right time and the right guy for a title change.
Darby Allin celebrated with the TNT Title. It’s his second time holding that title. The fans popped big for the title change and loved seeing the TNT Title in Darby’s hands again. There was some confetti that went off in the arena as well. Uncle Sting (not really related, but I like saying it) and Tony yelled “it’s Sting” as The Stinger greeted his friend in the ring. Sting gave Allin a huge hug in the ring.
Analysis: It’s great to give wrestlers some hometown title-winning moments like that. You don’t see that often in other wrestling companies, but AEW does it occasionally and I like seeing it. Making the fans happy is a smart move. It was a memorable way to end the first Dynamite episode of 2023. I’m happy for Darby Allin, who has really won me over with his work ethic and how entertaining he is in the ring. Sting hugging him was a great moment too.
Three Stars of the Show
- Darby Allin
- Ricky Starks/Chris Jericho
- Samoa Joe
This Week: 8 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
I thought it was a great show. The Starks-Jericho match was a lot of fun with Jericho losing clean to a younger wrestler just like he should be doing at his age. When Jericho was the ROH World Champion he beat a lot of guys, but now it’s okay to have him lose a bit. The main event between Darby Allin and Samoa Joe wasn’t a long match. However, I was entertained by it. Darby is fun to watch even though he takes some crazy bumps. Big title change for Darby in his hometown too. Great way to end the first Dynamite of the year.
There were some lengthy promos as well to set up MJF-Bryan Danielson at Revolution in a 60-Minute Ironman Match if Bryan wins a match on Dynamite every week for the next month. It’s a two-month build for an AEW World Title match, so that’s great. I liked the promo exchange even though there were some cheap heat moments to it. They both did a good job. The Jon Moxley-Adam Page promo was great too and sets up their big match next week. Saraya named Toni Storm as her tag team partner next week, but there could definitely be a swerve. There’s a live Rampage and Battle of the Belts on Friday too.
The new graphics and stage setup look good although the ring apron, barricade and microphones did not have the new colors. The crowd in Seattle was very loud all night long, so that certainly helped the show too. When you go to new markets, they are going to be into it more than cities that have seen your wrestling company. Plus, I remember Seattle fans being loud for WWE shows. It’s a great fanbase for their pro sports teams too. Good job, Seattle.
Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.