The John Report: AEW Dynamite 03/29/23 Review
This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Adam Cole making his return to the ring, Kenny Omega facing Jeff Cobb and more.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #182 at the Chaiftez Arena in St. Louis, Missouri. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Excalibur, Taz and Tony Schiavone were on commentary.
“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Matt Hardy (w/Ethan Page)
The announcers tried to put this over as a big match for Jack even though Matt is barely featured on TV. They shook hands. Perry hit a dropkick leading to Matt bailing to the floor. Perry tried a suicide dive, Matt caught him and hit a Side Effect on the floor. Darby Allin was shown watching backstage and so was Sammy Guevara with his wife Tay Melo in a different area. Ethan tossed Perry over the barricade with the referee not seeing it. Perry hit a double axhandle off the barricade. Matt and Perry were on the apron exchanging punches. Perry charged, but Matt caught him and hit a Side Effect slam on the apron. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Perry got some offense going with a dropkick. Ethan was on the apron for a distraction, so Matt punched Perry while he was on the turnbuckle. Matt hit a superplex from the middle rope for two. Hook made his way down to the ring, Matt grabbed Hook, who moved and Ethan punched Matt by accident. Perry hit a suicide dive onto Matt on the floor. Perry off the top, Matt with a kick to the gut and they exchanged holds leading to Perry hitting a superkick. Perry with a flatliner followed by an elbow to the back of the head for the pinfall win after ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry
Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay with the younger guy beating the veteran. Hook taking out Ethan was done to set up the finish. I like Jack Perry a lot, but he needs a better finisher than a running forearm to the back of the head. It’s just not that impressive or as believable as a finishing move.
Let’s Hear from MJF and Jack Perry
Maxwell Jacob Friedman, the AEW World Champion, walked out to huge boos while telling the fans that he runs the show and told them to shut their mouths. MJF told Jack that interrupting him was “kind of a Kanye” (West) move. MJF said that Jack claimed that after Double or Nothing 2020, Jack acted as if MJF had it easy. MJF spoke about how Jack had the audacity to say that this was the MJF show and the fans chanted “shut the f**k up” at MJF. MJF said no. MJF said he barely wrestles, he barely breaks a sweat, he gets a big check and flies home on a jet to Long Island, New York where they will be next week. MJF credited Jack for having standout matches leaving blood, sweat and tears in this ring. MJF said he didn’t recall the fans saying thank you to Jack. MJF said that Jack didn’t get rewarded with TV time either. MJF said that the only person Jack should be pissed at is himself.
MJF said after Double or Nothing 2020, he felt like he met his equal and met a man he’ll be waging war with for the rest of his life. MJF said he respected Jack as well. MJF said he found Jack in the back that night and shook his hand. MJF asked Jack if he recalled what Max said.
Jack finally spoke saying that MJF always told Jack that nice guys always finish last. Jack was told that he had to ditch his friends and not care about anybody but himself. MJF said that’s what he told him. MJF told Jack that he hung out with Marko Stunt, Luchasaurus and Christian Cage while saying they held Jack back. MJF said that Hook won’t be different. MJF said that they could have run this show and been the Jack Perry Show, but no, Jack had to be the good guy for these people (the fans). MJF asked where has being a good guy gotten you? MJF said three years later he’s the best professional wrestler in the world that is AEW World Heavyweight Champion. Meanwhile, Jack is still just Jungle Boy.
Jack spoke about how a long time ago he thought maybe they would be friends. Jack said in a lot of ways, he wishes he was more like Max. Jack said he wishes he could talk like MJF and wishes he had MJF’s confidence. Jack shouted about how MJF doesn’t care about people and stabbing people in the back. Jack called MJF a “narcissistic, piece of shit” in this entire place. Jack said that’s not him. Jack said he’ll do it his way and when he becomes the AEW World Champion, at least he won’t wake up alone every day and hate the person he sees in the mirror.
MJF told the crowd that it was really good. MJF said it only took him four years to learn how to talk. MJF said that he thought maybe they could have been friends. MJF told Jack he has been a massive disappointment that is no different than everybody here because he’s weak. MJF said he pulled aside Jack’s girlfriend Anna Jay and she told MJF that Jack is “weak between the knees” too!
Perry attacked MJF with punches, but MJF did an eye gouge. Jack stomped on MJF in the corner followed by Jack hitting a lariat off the ropes. Perry went for a running forearm, but MJF bailed to the floor to get out of there.
Analysis: That was an entertaining promo segment. They are around the same age, so as long as they both stay in AEW, they will likely have many future matches together. A lot of what MJF said is true there because while he was ascending to the main event, Jack Perry was hanging around with guys that betrayed him and Jack wasn’t close to MJF’s level. Jack fired back as the honest babyface that said he can’t be the kind of person that MJF is and he’s going to do it his way. They are trying to build to MJF dealing with Jack Perry, Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara as potential title challengers.
Kenny Omega and Don Callis were interviewed by Alex Marvez. Callis did the talking. Callis said that he lost his balance when “Hangman” Adam Page grabbed his wrist and fell down. Callis told Omega he doesn’t have to worry about trivial matters. A trainer was taping up Kenny’s left elbow. Callis claimed he would go talk to Hangman and apologize.
They showed the Jericho Appreciation Society’s Matt Menard & Angelo Parker hanging out with The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn to try to convince The Acclaimed & Gunn to join the JAS. They went to a hockey game, they went to dinner and all of it was paid for by Chris Jericho. Anthony Bowens said they’ll decide on if they will join the JAS next Wednesday night. Parker looked at the bill saying he hopes it is worth it.
Analysis: I don’t see The Acclaimed and Gunn joining Jericho’s heel group.
Dalton Castle & The Boys made their entrance, so the Blackpool Combat Club attacked them from behind. Claudio Castagnoli brought one of The Boys into the ring
Blackpool Combat Club – Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Dalton Castle & The Boys – Brandon Tate & Brent Tate
Claudio was easily beating up Brandon Tate in the ring and hit him with a Chokeslam-style move. Claudio finished him off with a sitout Powerbomb. Meanwhile, Jon Moxley and Yuta were beating up the other two guys on the floor. It went about one minute.
Winners by pinfall: Blackpool Combat Club – Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
Analysis: 1/2* A squash match to put over the BCC guys as heels with the cheap attack leading to the easy win.
After the match, the Blackpool Combat Club guys left through the crowd.
A video aired with highlights of last week’s show featuring the Kenny Omega, Hangman Page and The Young Bucks story. They showed Kenny Omega and Jeff Cobb promos to set up their match.
“Hangman” Adam Page was interviewed by Alex Marvez. Page said that Nick Jackson had a separated shoulder, Matt Jackson has a partially torn biceps and Hangman said that the Blackpool guys did this. Don Callis interrupted saying he was truly sorry about last week. Callis extended his hand for a handshake, but that led to the Blackpool Combat Club showing up to beat up Hangman. Moxley decked Callis with a forearm to the head. Callis was bleeding from the head.
Analysis: It was reportedly not a blade job by Callis. When he went down, he legitimately cut his head on some object.
Jeff Cobb got no reaction with Excalibur trying to educate the fans about him.
Kenny Omega was interviewed by Tony Schiavone, who informed Omega that Don Callis was attacked by the Blackpool Combat Club. Kenny said he had to focus on his match. Omega made his entrance to a good ovation.
IWGP United States Championship: Kenny Omega vs. Jeff Cobb
This was Kenny Omega’s first title defense in nearly three months as the champion. That doesn’t make it feel like a coveted title. Omega had the left side of his ribs taped up. Omega went for shoulder tackles and a body slam, but Cobb was too big to slam. Omega with a hurricanrana sending Omega out of the ring. Omega knocked Cobb off the apron to the floor leading to a somersault dive over the top onto Cobb on the floor. Back in the ring, Omega jumped over the top with a bulldog. Cobb hit a running brainbuster-style move. Cobb whipped Omega hard into the turnbuckle. Omega went to the floor, Cobb went after him and sent Omega into the barricade. Cobb picked up Omega and drove Kenn back-first into the ring post. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Omega got some offense with some kicks followed by a running palm attack to the head. Cobb picked up Omega leading to a spinning side slam. Cobb hit a corner splash, Omega with a running attacking, Cobb caught him and Omega landed on his feet after a slam attempt. Cobb with a punch to the jaw. Omega got a backslide leading to a running V-Trigger knee for a two count. Omega took way too long to run the ropes, so Cobb hit a dropkick. Omega hit a Snapdragon Suplex, then another one of those suplexes and a knee to the head. Omega hit another Snapdragon Suplex that Cobb no sold leading to Cobb hitting a clothesline. That led to both guys selling for a few moments. That’s a classic Japan spot. They did the “stand there and throw punches” spot leading to Cobb sending Omega to the turnbuckle. Cobb with a corner splash. They battled on the top turnbuckle with Cobb hitting a delayed vertical superplex off the middle rope. Cobb hit a moonsault press for a two count. Cobb hit a V-Trigger knee on Omega. Cobb teased a One Winged Angel, Omega got out of that and Cobb tried a move, but Omega got out of that. Omega with a knee, and then a V-Trigger knee to the back of the head while Cobb against the ropes. Omega used the ropes to lift Cobb up and Kenny hit the One Winged Angel for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kenny Omega
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match as usual when Omega is involved. Omega sold the rib injury well throughout the match to make Cobb look credible throughout the match, but we know Omega was going to come back to win. When Omega is in tag team matches he barely sells like this and it’s frustrating, but in singles matches, he tries to tell a story and he can do it very well like he did here. Cobb has a lot of talent in terms of the moves he does in the ring while Omega sold well for him. I thought it was a fun match. Omega’s finish on the bigger man Cobb looked impressive.
After the match, the Blackpool Combat Club guys Moxley, Castagnoli and Yuta were around the ring. Bryan Danielson made his return after being away for the last three weeks. The fans cheered Bryan since he has been a babyface in AEW. Bryan made the BCC guys back off, then he picked up Omega and after Omega charged at Yuta, Bryan hit a Busaiko Knee on Omega! Bryan applied the LeBell Lock on Omega as the other BCC stomped away on Omega. Bryan was squeezing Omega’s nostrils to make him pass out as the BCC beat up the guys that tried to make the save. Bryan hugged his BCC guys. The four BCC guys celebrated while the announcers were all sad about it. Bryan shouted at Omega that he was everything that is wrong with wrestling.
Analysis: The BCC guys are a heel force now with Bryan back in the mix joining them. This is obviously leading to a Blood & Guts story against The Elite with “Hangman” Adam Page reuniting with them.
An extremely intriguing turn of events as the #AmericanDragon@bryandanielson returns in the midst of this potential #BlackpoolCombatClub beatdown of @KennyOmegaManX?!
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/6ab7RnJBmM
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 30, 2023
A video package aired about The Gunns defending the AEW Tag Team Titles against FTR next week. If FTR can’t win the titles from them then they will quit AEW.
The Gunns did a promo saying they used to respect FTR, but they don’t anymore. They said you have seen what they did to their father, who they used to respect, so wait until you see what they do to FTR. They said “Top Guys, out” like FTR does.
Analysis: I will pick FTR. I think The Gunns only won the AEW Tag Team Titles from The Acclaimed just to have FTR beat a heel team for the titles instead of a face team like The Acclaimed.
International Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. The Butcher (w/The Blade)
This is The Butcher’s first singles match of 2023. The Blade attacked Orange from behind and The Butcher joined the attack. The referee ejected Blade from ringside. Butcher beat up Orange with punches and Orange told the referee he was ready to go, so the match started.
Orange did his comedy kicks to the shins, so Butcher punched him and knocked him down. Orange sent Butcher into the turnbuckles three times. Orange jumped off the top with a cross body block, Butcher caught him and sent Orange into the turnbuckle. Butcher hit a backbreaker. They were out on the floor with Butcher sending Orange into the barricade repeatedly leading to a break.
Butcher was in control with a knee to the ribs followed by a clothesline. Butcher with a half-crab submission. Orange broke free with an eye gouge, but Butcher hit a shoulder breaker into the knee. Orange hit the Stundog Millionaire. Orange countered a move into a DDT for two. Orange jumped off the top with a diving DDT for a two count. Butcher distracted the referee, so The Blade ran in with a crowbar to Orange’s back. Butcher hit a backbreaker for a two count. Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor sent Blade into the steel steps. Butcher pulled the referee down, then he was hit by the crowbar to the ribs by Trent and back in the ring, Orange hit the Orange Punch. Orange hit the Beach Break for the pinfall win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy
Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with Orange making the comeback after Butcher was in control for most of the match. Orange got the win because his best friends helped him when he needed it most. The heel Butcher attacked before the match to weaken Orange, so that told the story with Orange selling and finding a way to get the win. At least Butcher got one believable nearfall with the backbreaker.
Jade Cargill, the TBS Champion, was featured in a backstage promo with fans. Jade complained about Taya Valkyrie. Smart Mark Sterling said that they will sue Taya Valkyrie if they use Jade’s move Jaded. Jade reminded us that she is “that bitch” and told her lawyer to get the job done.
Juice Robinson did a promo about how he’s going to face Action Andretti on Rampage. Juice warned Ricky Starks about their upcoming match on Dynamite next week.
Willow Nightingale vs. Ruby Soho (w/Saraya & Toni Storm)
It’s the usual spot for the lone women’s match on the show. The Outcasts have a new song, so no more Ruby Soho song that Taz used to sing on her way to the ring. Ruby kept trying to get away to start the match. Willow blocked a kick and countered a move into a sidewalk slam. Willow hit a running cross body block on Ruby for two. Willow hit three straight body slams along with hard chops. Ruby sent Willow throat first into the middle rope leading to Saraya with some knees while the referee wasn’t looking. Ruby kicked Willow to knock her down. Ruby hit a suplex. Ruby stepped on Willow’s back against the bottom rope leading to a break.
Ruby was still in control with some choking against the ropes. This time, Willow sent Saraya into the turnbuckle when Saraya tried to cheat. Willow with a clothesline, running boot and spinebuster for two. Ruby went for a headscissors out of the corner, Willow caught her and hit a Death Valley Driver for two. Storm with a distraction, Ruby with a No Future kick and Ruby hit No Future again for a two count. Willow got a backslide pin for two. Willow with a Pounce that sent Ruby into the ropes. Saraya distracted the referee, Storm distracted Willow and Ruby got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with her feet on the ropes for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ruby Soho
Analysis: **1/2 The usual match from the women’s division. It seems like every week they have The Outcasts cheat to win in singles matches while the faces are left alone without any friends until the friends show up after the match.
After the match, Storm attacked Willow from behind as The Outcasts did a 3-on-1 attack on Willow. Ruby brought a steel chair into the ring and put it on Willow’s left foot. Riho and Skye Blue ran out for the save. That didn’t work very well because Storm and Ruby beat them easily. Ruby tossed Blue out of the ring. Saraya was going to do some spray paint on Riho, but Jamie Hayter – the AEW Women’s Champion – made the save. Hayter hit a backbreaker on Ruby while Saraya and Storm left. Hayter shook Riho’s hand. They face off for the AEW Women’s Title next week.
Analysis: This booking has been repetitive week after week with the faces looking like idiots with no backup during matches and then the heels run away after the match. Hayter got a good ovation from the crowd. She remains a popular champion.
AEW Rampage on Friday:
* Sammy Guevara vs. Konosuke Takeshita
* Best Friends vs. King of the Black Throne
* Taya Valkyrie vs. Marina Shafir
* Action Andretti vs. Juice Robinson
Next week on AEW Dynamite:
* Ricky Starks vs. Juice Robinson
* MJF Day
*AEW Women’s Championship: Jamie Hayter vs. Riho
* We’ll hear from the Blackpool Combat Club. They included Bryan Danielson in the graphic with Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
* AEW Tag Team Titles vs. AEW Career: The Gunns vs. FTR
The Adam Cole-Daniel Garcia match was up next.
There was a brief video featuring Powerhouse Hobbs as the TNT Champion.
Adam Cole made his entrance for his return to the ring for his first match in 276 days. Cole is in full babyface mode now. There were some boos for Daniel Garcia, but not much of a reaction for him.
Adam Cole vs. Daniel Garcia
I don’t really think Garcia is a TV main eventer, but here we are because it is Cole’s first match since last June and they needed a guy for Cole to beat. Garcia got a waistlock takedown followed by some celebrating. Cole with a shoulder tackle. Cole got a side headlock takedown, Garcia did a headscissors using his legs, then a cross chop to the throat and Garcia hit a piledriver. Cole rolled to the floor leading to the break as if he worked for the company he used to work for that loves floor-to-commercial breaks. They went to picture-in-picture here.
The show returned with about ten minutes left in the show. Cole got some offense going with clotheslines. Cole with the slam off the shoulders onto the knee for a two count. Cole with a pump kick, Garcia with a kick and Garcia hit a German Suplex. Garcia set up for nothing in the corner leading to Cole hitting a superkick for two. Garcia countered a move leading to elbow smashes (sort of) to the side of the head. Cole with a kick to the knee, he tried for the Panama Sunrise and Garcia countered with the Dragontamer submission, but Cole got to the ropes quickly to break the hold. Garcia captured the arms leading to another piledriver for a two count. Cole came back with a superkick, a Panama Sunrise (Canadian Destroyer off the turnbuckle) and Cole hit the Boom knee to the back of the head for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Adam Cole
Analysis: ***1/4 It turned out to be a pretty good match with Cole obviously getting the win since he’s getting a push as a babyface now that he’s back in action. The story of the match was Cole trying to avoid head injuries. Garcia did multiple piledrivers, but they looked safe with him taking the bump onto his ass. Anyway, Garcia
After the match, Adam Cole’s girlfriend Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. walked out to the ring to join him. Britt gave him a big hug and they kissed with some streamers going off in the ring.
Chris Jericho made his entrance with about two minutes left in the show. Jericho checked on Garcia while the fans were signing Jericho’s song even after the song stopped playing. Jericho glanced back towards Cole as he helped Garcia to the back. When Jericho got up the ramp, he slowly glanced back toward Cole again.
Analysis: That’s an obvious tease for a Jericho feud with Cole. Jericho can feud with whoever wants in AEW. With Cole as a face, Jericho makes sense as an opponent for Cole. Jericho lost his feud to Ricky Starks, but Jericho is always going to get meaningful feuds because of his role as a top guy in AEW.
Adam Cole and Britt Baker celebrated while the announcers shilled the All Access show that was on after Dynamite on TBS for those of you in the US. End show.
Three Stars of the Show
- Kenny Omega
- Adam Cole
- Jungle Boy/MJF
This Week: 7.25 out of 10
Last Week: 7.75
2023 Average: 7.56
It was fine overall. The match quality wasn’t as good as the better Dynamite episodes. They did further along the Blackpool Combat Club story with The Elite by attacking Kenny Omega/Hangman Page at different points in the show and it’s good to see Bryan Danielson back with the BCC guys as well. It seems like it will likely lead to BCC vs. The Elite in a Blood & Guts match soon. Chris Jericho is obviously looking to feud with Adam Cole next with Jericho getting to book his own feuds pretty much, so Cole should win that rivalry. I thought MJF and Jungle Boy had a really good promo exchange. That was one of the highlights of the show.
Every match on the show was predictable in terms of who was winning and who was losing. I’m not saying this is the only show that does that because some other shows I watch do it too. It’s just that if you watch/review Dynamite and Rampage every week like me it’s not as interesting when it’s this obvious. We know Hardy, The Butcher, Garcia, Cobb, Willow and Dalton/The Boys had no shot, so what’s the appeal? Think of the casual viewers. You need more than good matches to keep people interested.
I understand AEW likes to announce the full card before the show, but sometimes they need to shake things up and set up a match on the show or something different to keep viewers interested. Don’t be lazy, booking wise. Be creative. That’s all I’m saying.
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