This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a six-man tag team match with the two guys named Adam (Page and Cole) on opposite teams, a 15-team casino tag royale and AEW Owner/President/GM Tony Khan has some big announcement to make.
It is the last Dynamite before Sunday’s AEW Revolution pay-per-view in Orlando. We will have a Revolution preview on Saturday morning on TJRWrestling and then I’ll do a live review on Sunday night as well.
It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Jim Ross welcomed us to the show with Excalibur on commentary along with Tony Schiavone, who was in the ring. They were in a familiar venue – Daily’s Place in Jacksonville.
Tony Khan Has An Announcement
The show started with Tony Schiavone in the ring with AEW Owner/President/GM Tony Khan thanking everybody for coming to the show. Tony said when they started AEW three years ago it was out in that parking lot. Tony said about seventeen years before that, another wrestling company started – Ring of Honor. Tony spoke about how he’s been a fan of Ring of Honor and Tony said now he’s the owner of Ring of Honor. The crowd popped for that. Tony spoke about how Christopher Daniels was there when ROH started and a guy he wanted to wrestle is Bryan Danielson, so they are going to do that match now.
Analysis: That’s cool for Tony buying ROH. I don’t know what it means about the future of ROH and how it will affect AEW, but it’s probably a good thing for wrestlers if they keep the ROH brand going after this. Obviously, the 20-year ROH tape library is a valuable thing especially since AEW is likely going to want to have a streaming service some day and having the ROH library is a good thing for those purposes. There are also lots of AEW wrestlers with history in ROH as well, which can be used for future storylines between the two companies. Some people might not think it was a huge announcement either and I get that. To me, it’s a good thing. I’m happy that it happened.
Bryan Danielson vs. Christopher Daniels
Daniels is 51 years old and doesn’t wrestle that much anymore, but he’s still in great shape. They shook hands like the Code of Honor in ROH. They spent the first minute doing some counters and basic holds like arm drags leading to some posing in the ring. Bryan had Daniels grounded and pulled on the arm of Daniels while stepping on it. Daniels managed to send Bryan out of the ring leading to Daniels hitting a moonsault onto a standing Bryan on the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan took control with a kick to the chest followed by a knee to the ribs. Bryan drove his knee into the back. Bryan did a stretch using his knees across the back. Bryan ran the ropes, Daniels caught him and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb. Daniels hit a clothesline while the announcers talked about Daniels having an eye injury months ago. Daniels with an Iconoclasm slam off the turnbuckle. Bryan countered a move by Daniels and Bryan hit a German Suplex. Bryan hit a running dropkick in the corner. Bryan worked over Daniels with chops, kicks and they went to the turnbuckle where Daniels got a headbutt to knock Bryan down. Daniels with a cross body block off the top, Bryan countered it into an armbar and they fought over pin attempts a bit. Daniels and Bryan exchanged punches, Daniels with punches and Bryan came back with punches followed by a rolling elbow for two. Bryan went up top, Daniels tripped him up and Daniels went for a slam off the ropes, but Bryan blocked it. Bryan blocked a hurricanrana attempt, Bryan jumped off the top and Daniels hit a uranage slam. Daniels went for the Best Moonsault Ever, but Bryan avoided it and Bryan applied a Triangle Choke with elbows to the head. Daniels passed out to give Bryan the win. It went about 12 minutes.
Winner by submission: Bryan Danielson
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good match between two talented veterans that know eachother well. Daniels had no chance of winning and I think we all knew that, but they still had a match that was even most of the way. I like how Bryan wore down Daniels and made him tap out to get the win. I am impressed by Daniels moving as well as he does at 51 years old. Good finish to the match.
Bryan Danielson did a promo saying that it was 20 years since the first Ring of Honor show and Bryan/Daniels were in the main event. Bryan said in that time, they started matches with a handshake and they ended matches with a handshake. Bryan went over to a fallen Daniels with Bryan holding his hand. Bryan said he isn’t in Ring of Honor, he’s in AEW and it’s time to kick somebody’s head in. Bryan stomped on Daniels’ head repeatedly a few times.
Bryan Danielson continued the promo calling out Jon Moxley saying that on Sunday at Revolution, the head that will be stomped in is Moxley’s head.
Jon Moxley made his entrance from the back part of the building and he walked down to the ring. Moxley said he can see Bryan is better than ever and more violent than ever. Moxley told Bryan saying there are two paths he can walk because he’s at a crossroads. Moxley thinks Bryan will kick Mox’s head in and fade into oblivion, never to be heard from again. Moxley said he’ll walk through sheer force and will through Bryan. Moxley said at the end of this path, he’ll beat Danielson. Moxley said that the story of Jon Moxley is just beginning and he writes the first chapter on Sunday – a chapter that’s going to be written in blood. Moxley dared Bryan to take his shot right now. JR: “Moxley’s a psycho.” They teased a showdown, but Bryan did the heelish thing by leaving the ring and getting booed. That was it.
Analysis: Great promos. This is one of my favorite matches at Revolution. No doubt about it. I look forward to this match at Revolution. It’s going to be awesome and one of the best matches of the night.
Sting and Darby Allin were backstage doing a promo. Allin did a promo about facing Sammy Guevara on Friday and then on Sunday, they’re going to steal the show at the same time. Allin said on Rampage for the TNT Championship, it’s showtime.
Analysis: A very simple and generic promo. They went 24 minutes until the first commercial. That’s a long time.
Tag Team Casino Battle Royale
Every 90 seconds there will be a new team that enters the match. Then it’s battle royal rules when you’re in the ring. FTR started against Top Flight with Darius Martin back in action teaming with his brother Dante after Darius missed the last year with a torn ACL knee injury. Top Flight was on fire. The Acclaimed were the #3 team with Max Caster and Anthony Bowens taking their time due to Caster doing a rap. Caster managed to mention ROH and ripped on some Glenn Jacobs tweets. If you know, then you know. The Dark Order’s were #4 – Alan Angels and Ten with Angels hitting a Sliced Bread neckbreaker while Ten hit a spinebuster. Ten with a back body drop followed by Angels hitting a dropkick off the ropes. The Butcher & The Blade were #5 as they hit a sidewalk slam on Angels. Butcher and Blade hit a double team suplex. FTR worked together to eliminate Angels tossing him off the ropes onto the ramp. The #6 team was the Varsity Blonds team with Garrison holding Bowens leading to a Pillman dropkick. They went to a picture in picture break.
The teams of Santana & Ortiz were in the ring while some teams were getting eliminated. Dante Martin eliminated Max Caster. The Best Friends duo of Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor were next. Anthony Bowens eliminated Griff Garrison by sending him over the top to the floor. Another Dark Order team was next with Evil Uno and Stu Grayson joining the match. Grayson hit a running dive over the top onto a bunch of guys. Ten eliminated The Blade with a pump kick. Butcher had to deal with three Dark Order guys, so they worked together to toss Butcher out of the ring. FTR hit the Big Rig on Bowens. The Young Bucks were next after getting a cushy spot in the match. The FTR guys were waiting for them in the ring. They went to another picture in picture break after everybody started brawling.
The Gunn Club duo of Colten and Austin were next as the ring got pretty full of tag teams. The fans were chanting “Ass Boys” at them. FTR hit Big Rig and Young Bucks hit superkicks on the Gunn Club guys, so then both Gunn Club guys were eliminated. The team of Brock Anderson & Lee Johnson entered to no reaction and they hit DDTs when they got into the ring. Brock hit Bowens with a spinebuster. Bowens eliminated Ten from the match. Ortiz eliminated Chuck Taylor. The 2.0 guys Matthew Lee and Jeff Parker were the last team to enter this match with way too many tag teams. Matt Jackson die the skin the cat spot back in and then he clotheslined Brock Anderson out of the ring. Lee Johnson was eliminated right after that. Top Flight worked together to eliminate Anthony Bowens. Trent battled Evil Uno on the apron, then Danhausen emerged from under the ring, he cursed Uno and Trent suplexed Uno to eliminate him. Danhausen is a friend of Trent. The teams of Santana & Ortiz along with 2.0 all went over the top to the apron. Santana kicked Lee and Parker to eliminate them. FTR eliminated Santana & Ortiz due to 2.0 holding the legs. Matt Jackson eliminated Trent.
There were three teams left: FTR, Top Flight and Young Bucks. Dante kicked Wheeler into the turnbuckle, Wheeler sent Dante to the apron and Dante did a headscissors to eliminate Wheeler while eliminating himself. Matt countered a powerbomb with a hurricanrana on Harwood. ReDragon went out there to distract Harwood, so the Young Bucks eliminated Harwood. ReDragon did a double team move on Harwood on the floor. Darius Martin was left alone against Matt & Nick Jackson aka The Young Bucks. Darius stomped on Nick’s knee and hit a forearm on Matt. Darius with a jumping back elbow and a standing Spanish Fly. Martin sent Nick over the top, Brandon Cutler made the save and then Martin ended up eliminating Nick right after that. Matt exchanged punches with Darius on the apron after both guys were sent over the top to the floor. Why not just go back in the ring? Matt hit a low blow kick on Darius followed by a superkick and Darius went to the floor. The Young Bucks won. It went 27 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Analysis: *** That’s too long for a battle royal, but they have so many teams that it takes a while to get through it all. No surprise that The Young Bucks won since they were not in a PPV match, so now they are in a PPV match. As if AEW was going to have a PPV without them on the card. I feel bad for Santana & Ortiz, who continue to be poorly used by AEW and FTR not being on the PPV is disappointing as well.
Post match, the duo of Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish congratulated the Young Bucks on the win. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus made their entrance with uncle Christian Cage by their side. They had a staredown as the show went to break. Those three teams are doing a triple threat tag match at Revolution.
Chris Jericho did a promo backstage saying the world was buzzing about his match with Eddie Kingston after their conversation on Dynamite last week. Jericho said that this Sunday, Eddie finally gets his chance to win the big one because Jericho is the big one. Jericho did a promo about how he’s going to beat his ass and laugh at him. Santana & Ortiz walked up to Jericho, they touched knuckles with him, Jericho asked if they were good and Santana/Ortiz left.
Let’s Hear from CM Punk
CM Punk walked out to the ring in a plain white t-shirt for a promo. Punk said he used to look in the mirror and ask himself: “Am I the bad guy?” Punk said he doesn’t believe that everybody is the bad guy in their story. Punk said up until last week he thought that Max (MJF) was the bad guy and he talked about how MJF showed courage last week. Punk admitted that he can’t shake the feeling that he’s being gaslit. Punk said he didn’t think Max is lying because he believes those things happened to him. Punk added that he didn’t know if it matters. Punk talked about how there’s a famous picture of a younger Punk with Steve Austin and he said that he didn’t lash out when Austin went home. Punk spoke about how since he’s been in AEW he saw Max knock out Dean Malenko, who suffers from Parkinson’s and he’s seen Max bury Brian Pillman in his hometown. Punk talked about how he’s heard Max say awful things about Darby Allin’s uncle who died. Punk added that “hurt people hurt people.” Punk mentioned he did not shake MJF’s hand when he first got there. Punk said there’s not anything else he can say that can be more impactful than anything that he can do. Punk wanted Max to come out there so they can have a conversation in front of the world.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman walked out there in dress clothes including a scarf. Punk talked about how he poured alcohol down somebody’s throat, he mocked a dead person by using their ashes (the Paul Bearer-Undertaker thing in 2013) and more. Punk told MJF that all that hate isn’t going to keep you warm. Punk said his respect isn’t given, it’s earned. Punk said this is about that 11-year-old kid that looks up to MJF the same way MJF looked up to Punk. That led to Punk saying he splashed water on his face and asked himself a question: “Are you the good guy?” Punk said that his answer is that he sure is trying. Punk extended his hand for a handshake. MJF walked away from it at first while Punk tossed the microphone down. MJF pushed the hand away and hugged Punk in the middle of the ring. Punk hugged MJF back as they embraced in the ring. MJF stepped back and kicked MJF in the groin. MJF hit the Heatseeker DDT.
MJF revealed he was wearing a Punk/MJF shirt from when MJF was a kid. Shawn Spears and Wardlow walked out there with a Dynamite Diamond Ring and the dog collar in their hands. FTR were there to beat up security guys that were out there. MFJ punched Punk with the Dynamite Diamond Ring. MJF punched Punk a few times. Punk was a bloody mess. Spears put the dog collar around Punk’s neck. MJF said that he’s going to show Punk and all the mindless sheep that he is the devil himself. Spears pulled on the chain to choke Punk against the ropes. The trio of Sting, Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara made the save so the heel ran away.
Analysis: This was awesome. I wrote in my AEW Dynamite review last week that MJF was going to reveal last week was him just luring Punk in and that’s what happened. Still very effective. Predictable is fine when it is as impactful as this was. Love this feud. It makes Punk look a bit foolish that he fell for MJF’s act because Punk should have seen it coming, but it puts the heat on MJF and makes us want to see Punk kick MJF’s ass at Revolution.
Keith Lee was about to be interviewed by Tony Schiavone. They were interrupted by Ricky Starks, who mentioned seeing him on Rampage.
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. & Jamie Hayter (w/Rebel) vs. Thunder Rosa & Mercedes Martinez
Rosa started with Baker in the ring leading to Martinez going into the ring with a punch to the face. The team of Rose and Martinez took advantage of bad refereeing to get in some kicks on Baker. Britt ran the ropes leading to a Slingblade neckbreaker. Hayter tagged in against Martinez with each woman doing a shoulderblock, Martinez bounced off the ropes and did a shoulder tackle. Rosa tagged in with a snapmare, two kicks to the body and Rebel held Rosa’s legs. The referee saw it and did nothing about it like tossing Rebel from the ring. Why are the refs made to look like such idiots? He should send her to the back. The heels managed to take control with Hayter throwing Rosa into the turnbuckle.
Mercedes Martinez made the tag with clotheslines on both opponents. Martinez hit an overhead suplex on Hayter for a two count. Baker tagged in, Hayter with a bot that Martinez sold even though it barely touched her and Baker hit a superkick into a back heel trip from Hayter led to a two count from Baker. Rosa tagged in with JR trying to tell us Baker-Rosa is “one of the main events” of Revolution, which is a reach. Anyway, Baker and Rosa exchanged punches, they kept on countering eachother and Rosa hit a Death Valley Driver for a two count with Hayter making the save to break up the pin. Martinez went into the ring illegally with a suplex on Baker, then Hayter went into the ring as well. Rosa got a hold of Baker and hit a sitout slam on her for the pinfall after about eight minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Thunder Rosa & Mercedes Martinez
Analysis: **3/4 That was a shocking result because I figured Hayter would be the woman that lost this match rather than Baker. Normally in AEW, that’s how they always book the tag team matches, so I’m surprised Rosa pinned Baker in a clean manner like that. It was a decent match that broke down towards the finish and was a bit sloppy by the end.
Tay Conti and Anna Jay were about to be interviewed by Jade Cargill and Smart Mark Sterling. Jade called her a bitch like she does to everybody because she is the woman that says “bitch” a lot. They exchanged some words with Jade saying Tay was lucky Jade was giving her an opportunity.
Sammy Guevara, the TNT Champion, entered to hold some cue cards during the picture in picture break.
A video aired with alien girl Kris Statlander feuding with Leyla Hirsch. They are done talking. At some point, there’s a match coming.
Wardlow (w/Shawn Spears) vs. Cesar Bononi
Bononi is a taller guy that’s about 6’6” or so. Wardlow got a hold of him easily and hit a huge Powerbomb. The fans wanted more, so Wardlow hit two more Powerbombs in a row Wardlow covered with a foot on the chest for the pinfall win after one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Wardlow
Analysis: 1/4* It was just as squash win for Wardlow like we have seen many times. The fans are into Wardlow now. It was a way to make Wardlow look strong as usual.
Shawn Spears wanted a chairshot on Bononi, but Wardlow took the chair away. Spears and Wardlow had a staredown. Spears backed away without any confrontation.
Analysis: Whenever Wardlow beats up Spears and later MJF the fans are going to go wild for it. The slow build for it is the right way to book it.
This Friday on AEW Rampage:
TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (c) vs. Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo
* Keith Lee in action
* Ethan Page vs. Christian Cage – Face of the Revolution Qualifying Match.
They announced two AEW Revolution Buy-In matches:
* Hook vs. QT Marshall
* Kris Statlander vs. Leyla Hirsch
They went over some AEW Revolution matches after that. The main event was next.
Malakai Black did a promo talking about his rivals. Brody King was there talking about violence. Buddy Matthews said that everybody passes judgment while adding that they seek the truth. They are the house…and the house always wins.
Analysis: That’s fine, but there are 11 matches at Revolution and they are not even on the card. I was hoping AEW would book Black better than this.
MJF went up to Wardlow with Shawn Spears. MJF told Wardlow if he wins the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match and the TNT Title then MJF will let him keep the title. MJF said that Wardlow will not win anyway. Wardlow said it’s because all he does is help MJF win. MJF slapped Wardlow in the face. MJF reminded Wardlow that he works for MJF, not AEW, so he better remember that and threatened Wardlow’s family as well. Wardlow just stared at him.
Analysis: That was intense with a slap to add some violence to it. I think Wardlow is my pick in that Face of the Revolution Ladder Match on Sunday. It makes sense.
Adam Cole made his entrance with the ReDragon boys Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish with the fans chanting Cole’s catchphrases right on cue. The team of AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page along with Dark Order allies John Silver & Alex Reynolds. They got a good ovation from the crowd.
Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. “Hangman” Adam Page, John Silver & Alex Reynolds
Page worked over Fish with punches followed by a boot to the face. Kyle tagged in, Page took care of both guys and suplexed Fish onto Kyle. Silver tagged in to exchange kicks with Cole leading to Silver hitting a suplex. Reynolds tagged in for a double team move using the legs on Kyle and a double dropkick on Fish. Reynolds with a dropkick on Kyle as well. Kyle with kicks to the body, then a leg trip and Cole tagged in with punches to the face. Kyle tagged in with an abdominal stretch on Reynolds. Page tagged in, then the heels did a distraction and hit a kick to the back of Page’s leg. Cole tagged in saying he wanted to face the champ leading to multiple pin attempts by the guys named Adam. Page and Cole did some counters, Page with a kick to the leg and Page avoided a knee to the head. Cole avoided a Buckshot Lariat attempt and bailed to the floor. That led to a picture in picture break.
The match continued with the heels in control of Silver with Kyle slapping on a kneebar submission. Silver kicked Fish away, then Cole tagged in and out when he saw Page get the tag, so Cole avoided that and brought in Kyle. Page with a fallaway slam on Kyle followed by Page jumping over the top onto Fish. Kyle with some kicks on Page and then Page hit a sitout Powerbomb for two. Page with an elbow followed by a clothesline. Cole tagged in, Page got right in his face and they exchanged forearms followed by some weak looking punches. The other guys went in to exchange punches. There were a lot of kicks, but then Cole gave Silver a cradle suplex into the knee. Page crushed Cole with a clothesline leading to Cole doing a flip bump. Cole with a jumping kick to the head, Reynolds tagged in, Cole with a pump kick to Reynolds and Reynolds hit multiple kicks. Cole with a superkick, then a kick to the leg and Cole with the running Boom knee to the head for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good tag team match with the main event title challenger beating the tag team wrestler. Lots of action going on here. They actually didn’t ignore the rules as much as I thought, but it happened a bit. Cole beating Reynolds was the obvious result because it’s not like they were going to have Page take the pin, so you might as well have Cole be the guy to get the victory. I like how they made the Cole-Page interaction feel like a big deal whenever they interacted in the match.
Post match, Cole attacked Reynolds with punches. Page made the save, then he had to deal with Kyle and Fish. Page was about to do the Buckshot Lariat to Cole, but Fish tripped up Page on the apron. Cole worked over Page with punches. Kyle and Fish got duct tape that they used to tie Page against the top rope. Nobody tried to save Page as he was tied up against the top rope. Silver was sent into the ring, so Kyle/Fish hit their high/low double team move. Cole hit a Panama Sunrise piledriver on Reynolds as well. Page was still tied to the ropes. Cole grabbed the AEW World Title, Page headbutted Cole and Cole hit Page with multiple superkicks. Cole told Page that the title now belongs to Cole. Cole put the title on Page’s shoulder. Cole and his friends posed for the hard camera. The show ended there with the announcers shilling Revolution one more time.
Analysis: That was some cheap heat for the heels doing the attack after Page was tied up in the ropes. I don’t think Page will lose to Cole at Revolution, but it should be an outstanding match.
Three Stars of the Show
- MJF/CM Punk
- Bryan Danielson
- Adam Cole
This Week: 7.5 out of 10
Last Week: 7.75
It was another good Dynamite. The MJF/CM Punk segment was the best part of the show. It was clear that MJF was going to do a cheap attack after the way he acted last week, but they still presented it well and even though it was predictable, it was very effective. I love that feud. I also enjoyed seeing Wardlow step up more and talk back to MJF. I liked Danielson/Moxley a lot as well as they continue to build to their match at Revolution. In terms of matches, they were mostly good and nothing was that surprising other than Britt Baker taking a pin in a tag team match. The battle royal took too long due to so many AEW tag teams. At least the finish was booked well.
Obviously, the big announcement to start the show is what people will talk about. Tony Khan bought Ring of Honor, so it will be interesting to see what that means for the future of ROH, a lot of talented wrestlers and how AEW will be involved with ROH moving forward. I’m intrigued by it, that’s for sure. It’s good for the wrestling business, good for the talent and good for us fans as well.
Bring on AEW Revolution on Sunday night. We’ll have a preview up on Saturday morning and then I’ll do a live review on TJRWrestling on Sunday night.
Here’s the lineup for AEW Revolution on pay-per-view in Orlando on Sunday, March 6.
AEW World Championship: “Hangman” Adam Page (c) vs. Adam Cole
Dog Collar Match: CM Punk vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Jon Moxley vs. Bryan Danielson
Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Kingston
AEW Tag Team Championships: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (c) vs. ReDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
AEW Women’s Championship: Dr. Britt Baker (c) vs. Thunder Rosa
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match: Keith Lee vs. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Ricky Starks vs. Wardlow vs. Orange Cassidy vs. Ethan Page/Christian Cage
Tornado Trios Match: Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin & Sting vs. Andrade El Idolo, Matt Hardy & Isiah Kassidy
TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Tay Conti
Hook vs. QT Marshall (BUY-IN PRE-SHOW)
Kris Statlander vs. Leyla Hirsch (BUY-IN PRE-SHOW)
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