The John Report: AEW Dynamite 02/09/22 Review

aew dynamite feb 9

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured an AEW World Title match with “Hangman” Adam Page defending the title against Lance Archer in a Texas Death Match.

In addition to the World Title match, AEW boss Tony Khan promoted a new signing to the company.

This is AEW Dynamite episode #123 at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. The commentary team of Jim Ross, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the show. The crowd was loud as some fireworks went off and the fans were chanting “AEW” right away.

MJF Celebration

Wardlow walked out to the ring with some cardboard cutouts that were images of MJF choking out CM Punk and another one that was just MJF. There was a carpet on the way to the ring. Wardlow handed the ring announcer Justin Roberts some cards to read. Wardlow didn’t seem thrilled about it. The first card led to the introduction of Pinnacle members Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler with Tully Blanchard and then Shawn Spears was next. Spears handed Roberts something in the folder. Roberts read the credentials of MJF, the fans booed the mention of Long Island, they booed some of the words in the intro and the “man that PG Punk in the dumpster fire known as Chicago” and that led to Maxwell Jacob Friedman making his entrance.

MJF made his entrance sitting on a throne that was on a platform while six indy wrestlers carried it all the way down to the ring. There were some pretty ladies at ringside, one of them kissed MJF on the cheek and MJF made out with the other woman (it was MJF’s girlfriend apparently). MJF celebrated with his Pinnacle guys although Wardlow didn’t join the group.

MJF did a promo saying he was the best in the world while adding that he beat CM Punk twice in Chicago, so he’s better than the best in the world. MJF was greeted with “shut the f**k up” chants as MJF said he was just getting started. MJF said he realized he beat up somebody he grew up watching on his TV screen, so he whispered two heartwarming words in his ears: “You suck.” MJF said there’s a man that deserved a “thank you” with Wardlow thinking it was him, but then MJF said Shawn Spears for warming him up. Fans chanted for Wardlow. Spears got a new shirt made for MJF, who kept on going on and here’s CM Punk.

CM Punk was on the stage without his music playing and Tony Schiavone went over to give him a microphone. Punk said that MJF’s win in Chicago was about as suspect as his spray tan. Punk talked about how these jackasses like to pick their spot and beat up one guy, so today Punk has some friends. That led to Darby Allin and Sting showing up to stand beside Punk. They all had baseball bats. Punk said he wants a rematch or he’ll beat it out of MJF. Punk said he’s not talking to MJF, he’s talking to Wardlow, since he was the guy that beat Punk in that match. Punk spoke about how Wardlow is responsible for a lot of their wins and Punk suggested Wardlow should leave these guys. MJF claimed he beat Punk by himself. MJF said that Wardlow hangs around them because he is under contract with MJF and he’s their best friend. Dax Harwood said he’s not comfortable in a suit, but he’s comfortable in his fighting attire. Harwood said he was begging for a rematch. Punk said that all you have to do is ask. Punk said he wants a six-man tag so he can get his hands on Max again. MJF said he’s not wrestling in New Jersey, which drew boos. MJF said if Punk can beat FTR with any tag team partner then Punk can face MJF again. However, MJF said that Punk can’t pick Allin or Sting. MJF told Wardlow to get ready because he’s in a match while MJF’s celebration will continue.

Analysis: That was really good promo work from everybody involved. It’s smart not to just give the Punk/MJF rematch. MJF got a lot of heat for being egotistical while Punk did a nice job of putting over Wardlow, which is not something that MJF likes. They are clearly building to Wardlow’s face turn coming soon.


Andrade El Idolo and Jose were interviewed with Sting and Darby Allin. Andrade thought that the “kid” Darby works for Sting, but Sting said Darby doesn’t work for him and he’s not a kid. Darby said he has better things to do than to work for Andrade like winning the TNT Title. Andrade said that they had something in common because Allin wants the TNT Championship and Darby said he’ll be the next TNT Champion.

Analysis: Andrade hasn’t had a match on TV since early December, so it’s been over two months now, but maybe he’ll get to have a match on TV soon. I know he’s had a few wins on the Youtube shows. I just think they need to use Andrade better.

Wardlow (w/Shawn Spears) vs. The Blade

Blade attacked Wardlow with a chop block to the back of the knee to start the match. Blade charged right into a clothesline from Wardlow. There was a belly to belly release suplex by Wardlow and he did two more of those belly to belly suplexes after that. Wardlow drove Blade back first into the ring post leading to a picture in picture break.


Blade got a couple of knees to the face, but then he charged for a corner attack and Wardlow hit a huge Powerbomb. The fans were cheering for Wardlow to do more, so there was a second Powerbomb by Wardlow. There were two more Powerbombs from Wardlow for a total of four and that was enough for him to pin Blade for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Wardlow

Analysis: *1/2 Easy win by Wardlow as usual against most of the guys he faces. The cheap shot by Blade extended the match for a few minutes, but it was basically just a squash.

Post match, Shawn Spears hit Blade with a chair to the back. Wardlow and Spears left together.

A video aired featuring Penta El Zero Miedo with Alex Abrahantes talking about how Penta says that Malakai Black wants to live with Penta. It looked like Penta used a shovel to get some other mask to wear when he faces Black again.

Let’s Hear from The Inner Circle

Chris Jericho’s music hit as Jericho led Inner Circle members Jake Hager and TNT Champion Sammy Guevara down to the ring. No sign of Santana and Ortiz at the start of the promo. The fans sang along with Jericho’s theme song. Jericho said that they haven’t seen Santana & Ortiz all day, but there they are coming out with their own music. Santana & Ortiz walked down to the ring, so all five guys in the group were there.

Jericho wanted to know why they refused to tag him in against 2.0 and Daniel Garcia. Jericho said that they embarrassed him while robbing the fans that paid to see Jericho wrestle. Jericho said it was disrespectful, so he wanted to know why they did it. Santana said that for the past few months he has been struggling with this while adding that Jericho only cares about himself. Santana said that any fight they have had has been for the betterment and advancement of one person – that’s Jericho. Santana said any time they have a bit of spotlight, what happens? It gets shut down and thrown to the side so they can come to Jericho’s rescue. Santana said they came out there man to man, face to face to tell Jericho that the days of them playing second fiddle are over and done. Santana said that Jericho always stood in their way while the fans are what kept them going. Santana told them that you should thank Ortiz with everything you’ve got because if it wasn’t for Ortiz, Santana would have dropped Jericho’s ass a long time ago.

Jericho said that Santana reminds him of Eddie Guerrero. Jericho said that Eddie Kingston hasn’t done anything for them in AEW while Jericho is the Influencer in this company. Jericho said that since they have been with him, they have been in main events of pay-per-views, Dynamite, Rampage and made more money than ever before. Jericho told Santana they had the chance to be AEW Tag Team Champions saying they lost to Young Bucks about one year ago. Jericho said that he brought them into the Inner Circle and he can kick them out as well. Jericho said maybe he invited the wrong two members of LAX to join this group. Jericho mentioned Homicide and Hernandez while Santana grabbed Jericho, but Sammy told him to stop. Jericho told Sammy to shut up.

Sammy spoke up saying he had no idea what the hell is going on while saying he loved them and they are his family. Sammy told Chris that one of his goals is to be the greatest champion in professional wrestling that there’s ever been and all this bickering is not going to help. Sammy took off his Inner Circle jacket. Sammy said he’s quit this group before and unless they can figure it out, he’ll quit again. Sammy dropped his jacket in the ring and left with his two TNT Titles.

Ortiz said first Sammy walked away and then what’s next? Ortiz said that Jericho had his facts twisted. Ortiz said that all this bickering in the ring isn’t going to settle anything. Ortiz spoke about how where they come from, they deal with it using their fists. Ortiz said that next week it’s Santana & Ortiz vs. Jericho & Hager so they can settle this shit once and for all. Jericho said he never wanted it to come to this. Jericho said that after they (him and Hager) smack them around, they (Ortiz and Santana) are going to regret this. Jericho left with Hager while Santana & Ortiz were in the ring.

Analysis: It was another strong promo segment. I’m glad Santana got to speak a lot because he doesn’t get much promo time, but when he does he’s always very good at it. Setting up a match for next week is fine. I think rather than split up permanently, it’s possible they might realize they are better together and shake hands/hug after next week’s match. Hager rarely gets to wrestle, so at least he’s in a match next week. Good for him.

The Roppongi Vice duo of Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero were interviewed by Tony Schiavone briefly, but then The Young Bucks showed up. Adam Cole appeared for a cheap attack. Young Bucks and Cole beat up Trent and Romero. Jay White walked into the picture and rammed Trent into a production truck. White faced the camera, then he left and that was it.

Analysis: Welcome Jay White to AEW at least for now. I believe he’s working for other promotions too like Impact and other places. He’s a talented guy that had a lot of success in NJPW, but is relatively unknown to a lot of fans that might only watch AEW or WWE. They’ll need to introduce White to fans. I think he’ll do really well.

Isiah Kassidy from the Private Party team and Matt Hardy/Andrade group made his entrance.


The mystery opponent for Kassidy is a familiar name…“Limitless” Keith Lee. Great reaction for the talented big man, who just got married last weekend to Mia Yim, so congrats to them.

Keith Lee vs. Isiah Kassidy (w/Matt Hardy & Marq Quen)

The winner of this gets to be in the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match.

The fans chanted “Oh Bask in his Glory” for Lee. Kassidy got in his face and Lee tossed Kassidy across the ring. Kassidy ran the ropes, Lee did an impressive leapfrog followed by a cross body block leading to Kassidy rolling to the floor. Lee blocked a punch leading to a slingshot splash onto Kassidy. Lee ran right through a clothesline attempt of Kassidy leading to a Lee shoulder tackle that sent Kassidy out of the ring. Matt Hardy left by going over the barricade through the crowd.

Analysis: What Matt did there is what Jeff Hardy did in his last WWE match at a live event. That’s clearly what Matt was referencing. Jeff should be arriving in AEW next month.

Quen grabbed Lee’s boot while Kassidy distracted the referee, so Kassidy hit a neckbreaker against the top rope. Kassidy hit a corkscrew dive over the top onto Lee on the floor. Back in the ring, Kassidy with a kick to the jaw, but then Lee swatted Kassidy away to block a kick attempt. Lee caught Kassidy on the shoulders leading to the slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win. It went about five minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Keith Lee

Analysis: *3/4 An impressive debut for Keith Lee. He probably could have won in two or three minutes, but they gave them a bit more time because AEW does that sometimes. It’s fine. Lee’s awesome and is immediately one of my favorite guys in AEW now.

The win by Lee means he has qualified for the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match at the Revolution PPV on March 6.

Post match, Quen and Kassidy did a double team attack sending Lee out of the ring. Kassidy jumped onto Lee, who caught him. Quen went for a dive onto Lee, then Lee caught him and gave Quen a Powerbomb onto Kassidy. Lee also gave a Powerbomb to Quen on the apron. Lee left triumphantly.

Analysis: This was another way to make Lee look dominant. It made Private Party looks like losers, but somebody has to get their asses kicked on Lee’s debut.

A video aired about Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. as allies with Britt saying she brought in Mercedes Martinez and she paid her. Baker said that Martinez will face Rosa in a No DQ match. They exchanged words.

Analysis: They are clearly building to Rosa vs. Baker likely for the Revolution PPV, but Rosa has to go through Martinez first.

Sammy Guevara made his entrance with the TNT Titles around the waist. Sammy had his cue cards that he used during the picture in picture break.


FTR made their entrance with Tully Blanchard. CM Punk was up first and then the music of his partner played…it’s Jon Moxley. Great choice and a popular choice as well. They showed MJF watching the TV in a backstage area.

Analysis: It’s not that often where AEW does a promo segment to open the show to set up a match later. Now we get FTR vs. CM Punk & Jon Moxley. That’s pretty damn cool.

FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. CM Punk & Jon Moxley

Punk started with Harwood, then Punk outwrestled him and Wheeler tagged. Punk did an armdrag leading to an armbar. Moxley tagged in against Harwood with a side headlock takedown by Harwood, who got back up with a shoulder block. Moxley with a body slam followed by two kicks to the chest. When Punk tagged in, Harwood and Wheeler took turns working over Punk’s injured left leg. They did a bunch of quick tags while doing moves on the left leg. Punk avoided a Harwood attack, Dax hit the turnbuckle and Moxley tagged in against Wheeler. Moxley with a back body drop, then a suplex into a slam and Moxley hit German Suplexes on both guys. Moxley hit a double DDT on FTR. Wheeler grabbed Moxley’s ankle to prevent a dive, so Punk jumped off the ropes with a clothesline. Punk went for a dive to the floor, the FTR guys caught him and Moxley hit a suicide dive on the floor. They went to a picture-in picture break since they were all on the floor just like when all four guys were in WWE where they love to do the floor-to-commercial break spots.


The match continued with Moxley on the floor as a replay showed FTR put Moxley through the table at ringside. The referee Aubrey Edwards actually was counting Moxley out, but Moxley got back in before the ten count. The FTR guys did a double team move doing a catapult to send Moxley into the turnbuckle. Harwood slapped on a chinlock leading to Moxley breaking free with an atomic drop followed by a belly to back suplex. Punk had to deal with Harwood on the apron, so Punk couldn’t make the tag. Wheeler knocked Punk off the apron to the floor. Harwood tagged back in leading to a leg drop (into a slam by Wheeler) on Moxley for a two count. Harwood went up top again, Moxley moved and Harwood missed with an elbow drop. Moxley got back up with a clothesline leading to Punk getting the hot tag. Punk with a jumping leg lariat to the head of Harwood, then a running knee and Punk hit a short-arm clothesline on Harwood for two. FTR went for a double team move, but Punk shoved Wheeler off the turnbuckle. Moxley got a hold of Harwood and put him on his shoulders. Punk jumped off the top with a Doomsday Device clothesline (the Legion of Doom/Road Warriors finisher) with Punk getting a two count on Harwood. Wheeler hit Moxley with a DDT on the floor. Wheeler had the ring bell, Punk slipped out of a suplex and Wheeler hit Punk with the ring bell (the referee didn’t see it). Harwood hit a brainbuster on Punk for two. Great nearfall for two. Wheeler got the tag, Punk fought off a double team briefly and then FTR hit the Big Rig double team move, but Moxley was there to break up a pin attempt. All four guys exchanged punches while the inept referee did nothing to try to get two guys out of the ring. Punk and Moxley went for their finishers, but FTR fought out of them. Moxley saved Punk from a double team attack, then Moxley did a rear naked choke on Wheeler and Punk did the Anaconda Vice on Wheeler, who was tapping out and the referee was looking at the other two guys, who were not legal. Blanchard hit Punk with his jacket as if that’s going to hurt and Punk hit the GTS on Blanchard. Wheeler got a rollup for two. Punk hit the GTS on Wheeler and Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift on Harwood at the same time. Punk pinned Wheeler to win the match after 19 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: CM Punk & Jon Moxley

Analysis: ****1/4 Awesome tag team match right here. The reason FTR is my favorite team in AEW is because they have great matches with everybody and this was no different. Obviously, the team of Punk & Moxley are very talented, so they did a nice job as the babyface team. They did multiple in peril spots, then hot tags and things like that, which made it easy to get into. The number of false finishes towards the end was great too. I’m sure FTR loved being in the ring with two talented singles guys like Punk/Mox and I’m sure Punk/Mox respect FTR as a team, so they clearly had fun working together in this match. That one nearfall after Punk was hit with the ring bell and then ate a brainbuster was perfect as a nearfall. We knew Punk was going to win to get another match with MJF, but they sure made it look close a few times. I really enjoyed this match.

The win means Punk gets to face MJF in a singles match soon. MJF was shown throwing his drink after watching that finish. CM Punk and Moxley touched fists in the ring to celebrate the win.

Analysis: They could do Punk vs. MJF on Dynamite, but I think saving it for the Revolution PPV on March 6 is possible. Maybe make it a stipulation match too.


A newcomer named A.Q.A. made her entrance. A pre-tape promo aired saying she was 25 years old and trained by Booker T. She said she’s here to test herself in AEW. I don’t know why her name is A.Q.A. It just is. I don’t think it’s a great name. Jade Cargill is 26-0 in her AEW career. Mostly squash wins against weak opponents.

TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (w/Smart Mark Sterling) vs. A.Q.A.

Cargill used her power to lift up AQA for a slam. AQA went for an armbar, Cargill got back up to her feet and slammed her down. Sterling was wearing a neck brace. Cargill lifted up AQA, who hit a dropkick to knock Cargill out of the ring. Cargill punched her. They went to picture in picture.


The match continued even though Cargill should have won it by this point. AQA went for repeated cross body blocks followed by a Slingblade neckbreaker to no reaction. AQA hit a DDT that also got no reaction. That was a bit sloppy too. AQA slowly went up top and hit an impressive Shooting Star Press for that. AQA went up top again, Cargill got to her knees and sent AQA into the turnbuckle. I think they messed up a spot or something because AQA did a boot, then Cargill did the next move after that and it looked strange. Cargill hit a spinning sidewalk slam leading to the Jaded sitout slam for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jade Cargill

Analysis: 1/2* This dragged on too long. The Shooting Star Press by AQA was the best part of the match. It should have been three minutes, but they wanted to get in three minutes of commercials for picture in picture action. That hurt the match. They seemed lost towards the end. Cargill winning was obvious. Just make it quicker.

The Young Bucks and Adam Cole were backstage for a promo with Brandon Cutler on camera. Matt and Nick Jackson talked about climbing to the top of the rankings. Cole told them that if they need backup on Rampage then Jay White is their man. Matt wondered why Cole didn’t text them to let them know while mentioning that White had past issues with Kenny Omega. Cole said you can trust him and you can trust Jay. Cole said they took an oath that when you’re Bullet Club, you’re Bullet Club for life. Cole said that Young Bucks are going to make a statement on Rampage and Cole will make a statement later in the show as well.

Analysis: They are teasing future problems between Cole and Kenny Omega for whenever Kenny comes back from injury. I like that there’s a slow build.

Serena Deeb did a promo saying it took her less than three minutes to beat Skye Blue. Deeb said tonight she’s issuing The Professor’s Five-Minute Rookie Challenge.

Serena Deeb vs. Katie Arquette

Serena worked over Katie with an uppercut against the turnbuckle. Serena countered a waistlock and hit a twisting neckbreaker. Serena had the arm tied up leading to a submission wrenching back on the knee, Katie tapped out and that was it. It went 59 seconds since they had a 5:00 clock counting down.

Winner by submission: Serena Deeb

Analysis: 1/2* They finally booked a short squash match on this show. Good job. Serena is great. Happy for her doing well there.

This Friday on AEW Rampage, which was taped after Dynamite:

* Young Bucks vs. Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero

* Bryan Danielson will speak.

* Hook vs. Blake Li. Who?

* Britt Baker vs. Robyn Renegade. Who?

* AEW Tag Team Championships: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus vs. Gunn Club (Austin & Colten Gunn). A video aired about the issues between the two teams.

Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite from Nashville:

* Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. Santana & Ortiz.

* No Disqualifications: Mercedes Martinez vs. Thunder Rosa.


It was time for the Texas Death Match main event. The wrestlers were about to be introduced, but the fight started in the backstage area. Page was throwing Archer into objects in the backstage area. They went up the steps until they appeared on the stage. The bell rang to start the match.

AEW World Championship Texas Death Match: “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Lance Archer

The only way to win was a knockout by keeping your opponent down for ten seconds or by submission.

Page hit Archer with the AEW World Title to the back of the head. Page tossed Archer into some glass that was in the entrance area that was going to be part of an entrance. Archer bladed after that, so there was some blade just two minutes into this match. Page hit a Buckshot Lariat in the ring leading to referee Paul Turner doing a count until Archer got back up. Page went for a suicide dive, but Archer grabbed a trash can lid and hit Page in the head with it. Dan Lambert showed up with a wrench leading to him unscrewing the top rope. Jake Roberts appeared at ringside as well. Archer sent Page into the crowd. Page blocked a Chokeslam attempt, he landed on a barricade and hit a standing moonsault onto Archer to knock him down on the floor. Archer got back into the ring realizing there was no top rope with Excalibur pointing out that it takes away the Buckshot Lariat from Page. They were back in the ring with Archer hitting a clothesline in the back of the head. They went to a picture in picture break.


There were just under ten minutes left in the show as Page battled Archer on the apron with two tables on the floor. Archer was bleeding heavily on his face now. Archer blocked a kick from Page leading to Archer punching him in the face. Archer whipped Page into the middle turnbuckle. Archer pulled up a mat on the floor. Jake Roberts grabbed Archer on the floor and hit a short arm clothesline. Jake wanted to do the DDT, but Archer stopped it, Page kicked Archer in the gut and Page hit a DDT on Archer on the mat. Jake was frustrated that Archer stopped him. Back in the ring, Page hit Archer with three kendo stick shots to the back, then Page with four kendo stick shots to the head and Archer blocked the kendo stick while breaking it over the knee. Archer gave Page a Chokeslam onto a trash can that was in the ring. Archer grabbed a fork, he gouged Page’s head a bit and then stabbed the head a bit. Archer put the fork in his mouth and licked it. Gross. Archer hit a cannonball splash off the apron onto Page on the floor. Archer picked up the AEW Title at ringside. Archer tossed in some chairs and reached under the ring to pull out a barbed wire chair as well. Archer with a boot to the face to knock Page down. Archer set up the steel steps and hit the Blackout off the apron onto the side of the steps. That sounded rough while Page bumped to the floor. There referee didn’t really count much while checking on Page and Archer brought Page into the ring. My guess is they realized they only had a few minutes left so they weren’t going to do a dramatic count spot there. Archer picked up Page, who grabbed some barbed wire from the chair and punched Archer with it. Page had the barbed wire on his right arm, then he did two elbow strikes and Archer got a boot to the face. Page hit a German Suplex. Archer went back to the apron so they can do the table spot with Page dome a flip over the referee and hit a Buckshot Lariat on Archer leading to both guys going through the second table that was set up on the floor. Referee Paul Turner counted both guys down, Page got up by nine and into the ring while Archer was down in the table. Page won by knockout after 15 minutes.

Winner by knockout: “Hangman” Adam Page

Analysis: ***1/2 A wild brawl with a lot of blood and a big fish. Good stuff overall. This went just as I predicted last week saying it was going to be a bloody brawl with Page having a tough fight against a big man opponent like Archer. I would have liked if they had Page actually sell the Blackout onto the side of the steel steps, but as I noted in the review, they were rushing to get the match done in time. The tables that were set up on the floor were obviously there for the finish, so it was no surprise that they were broken to end the match. Both guys made it look like a tough fight with Page bleeding a lot more on his face while Archer bled first. AEW’s willingness to have their wrestlers bleed in big matches like that is something that helps the product since we know WWE doesn’t do blood like that. It’s a way for AEW to differentiate themselves. I think it’s smart by them.

After the match, Adam Cole went down to the ring, grabbed the AEW World Title and put it on Page’s shoulder. It was Cole’s way of letting Page know he was coming for him. Cole left while Page was in the ring. End show.

Analysis: Since Cole is the top-ranked wrestler that is undefeated in singles matches in AEW (the loss to Orange Cassidy didn’t count due to it being a “Lights Out” match), he has earned the show. They should save that Page vs. Cole match for Revolution on March 6th. I don’t expect Page to lose, but I’d be fine with a Cole win too.

After the show, AEW boss Tony Khan tweeted that he screwed up saying “Forbidden Door” regarding Keith Lee, so then he got a hold of Jay White and brought him in. Since White also appears for other companies at this point in his career, that’s what referring to with Jay White. They haven’t said he signed with AEW yet.

I think Tony gets overly excited too much. Sometimes less is more, boss man. Remember that for the future.

Three Stars of the Show

1. CM Punk/Jon Moxley

2. FTR

3. (tie) “Hangman” Adam Page

3. (tie) Lance Archer

The Scoreboard

This Week: 9 out of 10

Last Week: 8

Final Thoughts

This was one of the best episodes of AEW Dynamite ever and the best so far this year. Best match honors go to Moxley & Punk vs. FTR. They went nearly 20 minutes and that was so much fun with all the nearfalls, Mox/Punk doing the Doomsday Device at one point and then going into the finish with Punk getting the win. That was set up with a show opening promo from MJF leading to Punk interrupting. It’s so rare to see AEW use an opening promo to set up a match for later (a tactic WWE has been using for 20+ years), but I liked it. The main event with Page/Archer was very good too as a bloody brawl that saw Page take a beating before getting the win.

Two big things from the show are that Keith Lee made his AEW debut. I’m so happy for him and I think he’s going to do really well there. Jay White is a nice addition too, for however long he’s there. I don’t know what percent of fans know Jay or his history in NJPW, but he’s another talented guy AEW should fit in well. I worry a bit about people getting lost in the shuffle because the roster is so big, but that’s for the AEW bosses to figure out.

I’m not one of those AEW kiss-ass people that spout Tony Schiavone lines about how this is the best show every single week. They earned that praise this week. The women’s matches/segments weren’t good, though. AEW continues to do have just average women’s segments most weeks. That’s why the score isn’t higher.

Great show overall. I enjoyed it a lot.

Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport