The John Report: AEW Dynamite 04/05/23 Review
This week’s AEW Dynamite featured The Gunns defending the Tag Team Titles against FTR, MJF gets honored in his hometown and more.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #183 at the UBS Arena in Long Island, New York. 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.
Ricky Starks entered for his match against Juice Robinson, who was already in the ring. Jay White appeared with the director missing the shot when White appeared on the stage. Oops. White and Robinson are together in Bullet Club so they embraced and double-teamed Starks with Juice hitting a spin kick tothe face. White hit the Bladerunner neckbreaker on Starks. White and Juice celebrated. The “genius” announcers realized this was all a set up.
Analysis: There’s the official AEW debut of Jay White, who was a free agent. You don’t see AEW start shows like that with an angle in terms of match, but it was a smart way to start with something big since it was White’s AEW debut. Jay is a talented guy, so he’s a nice addition to the AEW roster.
Chris Jericho was interviewed by Tony Schiavone backstage. Jericho claimed that Adam Cole was disrespectful towards Daniel Garcia after Cole beat Garcia last week, so Jericho went out there to help Garcia. Jericho talked about respect, which led to Keith Lee interrupting Jericho and saying maybe he could teach Jericho about respect next week in Milwaukee. Jericho acted like he was intimidated a bit by backing down physically and Jericho didn’t say anything.
Analysis: A fresh matchup for next week. Fine with me.
House of Black made their entrance as the AEW Trios Tag Team Champions for their title defense after a break.
The Best Friends were driven in a minivan by Trent Barretta’s mom Sue as Trent excited with the International Champion Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor. Sue got a pop.
AEW Trios Tag Team Championships: House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews) (w/Julia Hart) vs. Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta & Chuck Taylor)
Black and Trent exchanged some holds with Trent getting a jumping knee strike. Taylor tagged in, Black kicked Trent and a sweep kick on Taylor. King tagged in with a shoulder tackle. Taylor kicked King in the head and Buddy tagged in. Orange tried a DDT on Buddy, but he couldn’t connect with it. Buddy sent Orange face first into the turnbuckle. All six guys started brawling in the ring, then they fought out of the ring and King sent Taylor into the barricade. Orange gave Buddy a headscissors out of the ring while King hit a cross body on Taylor on the floor. Orange jumped off the top with hands in the pockets, but Black & Buddy caught him and sent Orange into the apron. Black and Buddy caught a diving Trent and slammed him into the barricade. King hit Trent with a forearm. They went to a break.
Black got the tag and cleared the ring. King went for a dive, Cassidy moved and King knocked down his friends on the floor. Best Friends did their hug gimmick as they did a triple team slam on Black on the floor. They showed Rush and friends watching from the king. King was in the ring cleaning house including a Bossman Slam, Trent hit a running knee on Black and Black hit a brainbuster on Trent. Orange faced off with Black doing comedy kicks, the announcers said it was “smart” and then Black kicked Orange. Orange hit a Stundog Millionaire on Black. Trent tagged in with a piledriver on Black, a piledriver on Buddy and Trent tried a piledriver on King, but there was no lift. Trent with a strike, Orange with an Orange Punch illegally in the ring and Trent hit a piledriver on King for two with Black breaking it up. I don’t know who is legal anymore as the ring was full of guys and then bumps to the floor. Taylor got two pin attempts on Buddy and then Buddy got out of a move leading to The Stomp for the pinfall win after 12 minutes. I have no idea if they were really the legal men, but it is AEW. It’s not like it matters in this company.
Winners by pinfall: House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews)
Analysis: ***1/4 It was an entertaining tag team match with the champions finding a way to retain. The last few minutes were complete chaos with the referee losing complete control as usual. I didn’t see when Taylor and Buddy got tags, so maybe that’s on me. Anyway, there were some fun spots in the match although I never though Best Friends had a chance to win. I like the champions retaining.
Christian Cage was shown walking backstage. There was a red light and Luchasaurus walked out of a room. They didn’t say a word, but they left together.
Analysis: Luchasaurus is back from whatever break he was on while Christian lost to Jungle Boy one month ago. Luchasaurus and Christian together is a good thing.
AEW Women’s Championship: Jamie Hayter (w/Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.) vs. Riho
They shook hands to start the match. They did a routine with a bunch of nearfalls. Hayter hit two shoulder tackles, Riho broke free and hit a dropkick knocking Hayter out of the ring. Riho jumped off the top with a cross body block on the floor. Back in the ring, Hayter caught a leaping Riho and Hayter hit a gutbuster onto the knee. They went to the apron, exchanged holds there and Hayter hit a uranage slam on the apron.
Riho got some offense going with a 619 kick followed by a cross body block off the top. Riho hit Hayter with two Dragon Suplexes for a two count. Riho jumped off the top with double foot stomps, Hayter avoided it and Hayter hit a running clothesline for two. Hayter hit a superplex off the middle rope followed by Riho countering with a DDT. Hayter won a battle of forearm strikes with Hayter knocking Riho down for a two count. Hayter was on the top rope, Riho hit her with headbutts and a hurricanrana off the top. Riho hit a running knee attack for two because Hayter got her boot on the bottom rope. Hayter with a snapmare, a boot to the head, then they fought over a backslide attempt and Hayter hit a clothesline for two. Hayter did a ripcord into a Hayterade clothesline for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jamie Hayter
Analysis: ***1/2 A great match with Hayter looking strong as the champion using her power game against the smaller opponent Riho, who put up a hell of a fight. I liked how it was booked as an even matchup the whole way. Riho hit some cool moves, but Hayter used her power advantage to wear Riho down and Hayter managed to hit a bunch of clothesline to find a way to get the win.
The Outcasts trio of Saraya, Ruby Soho and Toni Storm were interviewed by Renee Paquette. Ruby saying they are going to control things in the women’s division with one of them becoming the AEW Women’s Champion. Saraya said they’ll figure out who it will be and Storm said what matters is that Hayter is not the champion.
Analysis: In other words, the creative team (if you want to call it that) had nothing for these women this week so you might as well give them 45 seconds to cut a very generic promo.
The Jericho Appreciation Society’s Matt Menard, Angelo Parker & Jake Hager were on stage with Menard doing his 1988 screaming wrestler promo about how The Acclaimed was going to join the Jericho Appreciation Society. Max Caster said they can’t join because Jericho is full of shit more than George Santos. Caster said that JAS stands for Just Acclaimed Scissoring.
Angelo Parker informed Bowens & Caster they got them a tag team match with Menard & Parker this Friday on Rampage. Billy Gunn and Anthony Bowens did their scissor gimmick to end it.
Analysis: That’s a denial from The Acclaimed. This is a lame story featuring the JAS comedy guys.
MJF was up next.
A replay was shown of Jay White debuting earlier with Juice Robinson to attack Ricky Starks.
They showed MJF getting a key to the city of Oyster Bay on Tuesday. MJF said he’s a Long Islander and you can’t beat a Long Islander.
Let’s Hear MJF on MJF Day
Maxwell Jacob Friedman was dressed in a tuxedo as they had a band on the stage playing some music to bring MJF out there. MJF talked about how it was the greatest day of all – it was MJF Day in his hometown of Long Island, New York.
MJF sang a song called “Pennies From Heaven” with the band that was on the stage. While the band continued to play, MJF made his way down to the ring. There were some items in the ring including his AEW World Title. MJF wrapped up his song with the fans cheering for him.
The Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino was in the ring doing a promo. MJF told the crowd not to ruin this for him so shut up. Joseph said that Max is the pride of Long Island and they love how Max wears Long Island on his sleeve. Joseph presented MJF with the key to Long Island saying this was the highest honor he can bestow. Joseph that April 5th is MJF Day in the town of Oyster Bay. Joe had a much bigger key for MJF. Taz said that Joseph has a future as a heel manager.
MJF said that this was a huge honor and some might say “you deserve it” and clapping so the crowd did it on cue. MJF spoke about how guys like Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara and Jungle Boy while taking a shot at them. MJF talked about how he suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder and asked for people to clap about it, which led to an “ADD” chant. MJF talked about how a teacher named Mrs. Benedict would wait for Max to lose concentration and every day she would laugh at him. MJF claimed that she told the class not to be like MJF. When Mrs. Benedict asked Max where his brain goes during classic and Max said he thought about pro wrestling because he dreamed about being a World Champion. MJF said that her math was a little off. MJF bragged about getting his key and how he’s the defending AEW World Champion. MJF said “don’t be a stupid bitch” like Mrs. Benedict.
MJF claimed if you are a Long Island kind that is struggling, just know that you can be anything you want to be except one thing… “except me because my name is Maxwell Jacob Friedman and I’m better than you and you know.”
MJF left the ring with the microphone and asked the crowd if they want to hear an encore. Somebody smashed some cymbals near MJF, so Max yelled at him and it was Jungle Boy. MJF and Jungle Boy were exchanging punches on the stage with the fans cheering for MJF while Boy was booed. Security and AEW Officials broke up the fight.
Analysis: I was entertained by it due to MJF’s talents. I just think it went long and I’m not sure what it accomplished other than yet another push towards MJF facing Jungle Boy and likely Sammy & Darby, who wasn’t even there. We could tell that’s coming from a promo last month. This whole thing felt like a babyface World Champion promo, which is what MJF is in his hometown. Max had a lot of fun with that while the fans popped big for him as a successful hometown guy. The song was impressive although I don’t know if that’s what wrestling fans want on this show. Jungle Boy getting booed is likely not what AEW wants, but in Long Island that’s going to happen.
Sammy Guevara made his entrance while MJF and Jungle Boy were separated. Sammy held the AEW World Title that was on the ground and gave the title to MJF. Sammy made his entrance for his match.
Komander vs. Sammy Guevara
Sammy hit Komander with a running knee. Sammy slid out of the ring, Komander slid out and Sammy hit a springboard moonsault onto Komander on the floor. Sammy took way too long, so he jumped off the top with nothing and Komander kicked him in the jaw. Komander walked the top rope leading to a Shooting Star Press for two. Sammy was on the floor, Komander jumped off the top with nothing and Sammy superkicked him.
Sammy was in control with a headlock while Jungle Boy was watching on a TV. Komander punched Sammy to break free leading to a springboard reverse hurricanrana spiking Sammy into the mat. Komander walked across the top rope leading to a springboard moonsault onto Sammy on the floor. Komander jumped off the top with a flip, Sammy avoided it, then Sammy had to roll into the ring and lay there while Komander hit a springboard Phoenix Splash. Komander went for a Shooting Star Press, but Sammy got the knees up. Sammy went for the GTH, Komander countered it into a cradle and Sammy hit a superkick. Darby Allin was shown watching from the rafters. Komander walked across the top rope, Sammy hit him with a Cutter off the top and Sammy hit a GTH (Go To Hell) knee for the pinfall win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sammy Guevara
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match for the time given. Yes, they did some cool moves and Komander really stands out because of what he does in the air. They are very athletic, but you need to do a better job of telling a story in a match instead of just flips and dives. Taz even said that Komander went to the ropes too much. I agree. Most of the match was just Komander running and jumping off the ropes with Sammy having to lay there to take moves. Sammy beat Komander rather easily.
Sammy Guevara was interviewed in the ring by Tony Schiavone. MJF was in the back watching, Jungle Boy was in the back watching and Darby Allin was in the rafters watching. Sammy said he just did something that the World Champion doesn’t do – he wrestled. Sammy called MJF’s “shit” earlier like something out of American Idol. Sammy said in 2021, Max didn’t beat him clean because Shawn Spears attacked him with a steel chair. Sammy said that MJF lied, cheated and manipulated his way to the top with Sammy saying he was honestly jealous of it. Sammy recapped MJF’s history in AEW and said that Max sold his soul to be a pillar in AEW. Sammy said “I built this shit” while claiming that he built this with match after match and moment after moment. The fans were booing as Sammy said he wasn’t going anywhere. Sammy said he’s not using AEW to go to somewhere else. Sammy said he met his wife here and won championships here. Sammy said he’s not going let some “bitch from Long Island” (that’s MJF) ruin this company with his “Bidding War of 2024.” Sammy said screw Jungle Boy, screw Darby Allin and screw MJF because Sammy is your World Heavyweight Champion. Sammy left.
Analysis: I thought it was a weak promo. He should have said “next” before “your World Heavyweight Champion” at the end. It’s funny how Sammy is saying stuff like he’s loyal to AEW and not going to leave to go to another place (which MJF has teased doing), yet the fans are booing this guy. I get it because Long Island is MJF territory, but this was almost like a babyface promo from this heel character. Complaining about losing a match two years ago sounds so lame too. My advice is to give wrestlers more guidance in promos. Don’t just let them say whatever they want. I’m not saying script promos, but try to make it better than this.
FTW Championship: Hook vs. Ethan Page (w/Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy)
The announcers pushed that Matt Hardy signed some contract on Rampage (I didn’t watch it) and Ethan Page just signed it without reading it. Hook with a suplex. Ethan to the floor, he drove Hook’s back into the apron and Ethan whipped Hook into the steel steps. Ethan sent Hook into the ring post. Ethan teased using a Twist of Fate, Hook got out of that and Hook hit his own Twist of Fate. Kassidy distracted the referee, Matt Hardy teased giving Ethan the FTW Title, then pulled it back and hit Ethan in the head (the referee never saw it). Hook applied the Red Rum submission on Ethan for the submission win after two minutes. Hook is 25-0 in AEW.
Winner by submission: Hook
Analysis: * Easy win by Hook after Matt turned on Ethan finally.
Matt Hardy and Isiah Kassidy were smiling as they walked away. The announcers were shocked because they thought that Matt Hardy was friends with Ethan Page.
Analysis: The entire story between Ethan Page and Matt Hardy in AEW has been about Ethan forcing Matt to do things. They teased that Matt actually liked Ethan, but it was obvious that Matt wasn’t genuine and the fans popped for Matt turning on Ethan since Matt is a face. The announcers have to sell shock because that’s pro wrestling.
Tony Khan’s Big Announcement
There was a backstage scene with AEW CEO Tony Khan and Nigel McGuinness, who is a part of AEW now. Tony mentioned the All In show in September 2018 that was put on by Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes. Tony announced Sunday, August 27th at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Adam Cole announced the site of the event. We have more information on it here.
Analysis: It is pretty big, but I’m sure some fans in the US don’t think that’s a huge deal. It is a huge thing for the company, so I think the hype was justified. The interesting thing about the press release is they didn’t mention it was a pay-per-view although I think it is. It is believed that they are also going to do All Out one week later, which is a pay-per-view.
The Blackpool Combat Club made their entrance in the back part of the arena.
Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta) (w/Bryan Danielson) vs. Three Guys With No Chance
Claudio hit an uppercut strike on one poor guy whose name was not announced. Claudio and Moxley hit a double team hiptoss on a guy. Claudio and Moxley hit a spike piledriver on the floor. Yuta applied a half-crab submission, but a guy tried to break it up and that was a mistake since Moxley threw the guy into a turnbuckle. Yuta with a German Suplex followed by elbow smashes. Yuta applied a submission pulling back on the left arm for the tapout win. It went under two minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta)
Analysis: 1/2* Squash city to put over the BCC guys. Two straight quick matches on this show.
After the match, Yuta held on to the submission after the bell. Moxley sent a poor guy into the barricade. Claudio put a guy in a crossface submission.
Bryan Danielson did a promo saying he was at home with his family and he loves his family. Bryan also said he loves Moxley, Claudio and Yuta – even though he’s a little shithead. Bryan also loves “professional wrestling.” Bryan trashed the guys that were beaten up saying that they looked like “impotent amateurs” that the EVPs might have hired. Bryan said they are the only professional wrestlers in this building tonight.
“Hangman” Adam Page made his entrance with Bryan saying he was another amateur. Hangman tried to fight, but three of the BCC guys beat him up easily. Bryan trash talked Hangman saying he was an amateur. As the BCC guys took turns beating up Hangman while Bryan shouted that the BCC guys are professionals. Bryan shouted that nobody was coming to help because they don’t know what love is. Bryan had a screwdriver saying he’s been teaching his kids about how to fix up your house. Bryan kept shouting “amateurs” while Hangman was held by the BCC and Bryan gouged the screwdriver into Hangman’s face although we couldn’t get a good view of it. Bryan said they were the only real professional wrestlers in AEW and from what he’s seen this week, they are the only real wrestlers in all of America That was it. Hangman was covering his face with his hands.
Analysis: The story is that the BCC has beaten up everybody that is close to Hangman, so nobody was around to try to help him from the attack. Bryan’s promo was great. Bryan is such an incredible promo guy whether he’s a face or a heel. He wasn’t always a great talker, but in the last decade, he certainly became that.
The FTR duo of Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler made their entrance. Excalibur said that their match was like four months and they have losses in their last five matches. The Gunns made their entrance as the AEW Tag Team Champions to the song “Many Men.” I guess that makes them cooler than being Ass Boys.
The Gunns (Austin & Colten Gunn) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)
It’s Titles vs. AEW Career because if FTR loses this match then they would have to leave AEW. We know about the “leave AEW” story since Dax has talked about their contracts expiring in April publicly for many months.
Colten started with Wheeler as Colten hit some shoulder tackles. Wheeler with a shoulder tackle of his own, then Dax tagged in and hit an elbow drop. Wheeler tagged in and Dax slammed him onto Colten with Wheeler hitting a leg drop. Austin held onto Wheeler’s foot, so Colten dropkicked Wheeler off the apron to the floor. The Gunns hit a clothesline and knee lift combo for a two count. Colten hit a corner splash on Wheeler along with a full nelson slam for a two count. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Dax just got the tag from Wheeler as the match returned. Dax unloaded on his opponents with punches. Dax with an atomic drop, Dax with a clothesline and I guess Austin was legal as Dax got an inside cradle for two. Austin lifted up Dax and Wheeler hit a dropkick even though it was illegal. FTR hit a double DDT on Colten, who was in the ring illegally. There were some quick tags from FTR including Dax making a blind tag leading to a spike piledriver on Colten for two. Colten into the ring illegally to block a move and then FTR hit the Shatter Machine on Austin for a two count. Colten pulled the referee out of the ring and told him to disqualify them, but the referee Paul Turner refused to do that. Colten sent Wheeler into the ring post. Dax knocked Colten off the apron and Dax hit a Fameasser on Dax for a two count. Dax countered Austin with a backslide for two and Dax got an inside cradle for two. Dax with a jackknife cover for two. Austin punched Dax in the groin in front of the referee, but Wheeler stopped the referee from doing a DQ. The Gunns hit 310 to Yuma on Wheeler. Dax punched Austin to knock him down. Dax jumped off the top, but Austin had a Tag Team Title in his hands (the referee didn’t see it) and Dax jumped onto the title. Austin got a two count out of that. Colten got the tag as Dax spit in the face of both guys. Dax got a sunset flip on Colten while Wheeler did a sunset flip on Austin and Dax’s pin on Colten (they were both legal) was counted by the referee for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler)
Analysis: *** It was good by the end, but definitely weaker than most FTR matches. There were at least a few good nearfalls for The Gunns near the finish. Did anybody go into this match thinking The Gunns have a chance? It was pretty obvious there was a title change coming here. I think if the titles were on champions that were stronger than The Gunns it would have meant more for the title change. Keep the titles on FTR until at least the end of June so I can see them live at Forbidden Door.
FTR celebrated as the new champions with some streamers filling the ring. Mark Briscoe went down to the ring to hug FTR and congratulate them. There was no time left so that was the end of the show.
Three Stars of the Show
2. Jamie Hayter/Riho
3. House of Black
This Week: 6.75 out of 10
Last Week: 7.25
2023 Average: 7.5
I thought it was a good Dynamite in the first hour and then a weaker show in the second half. The match quality in the second hour was way below what we usually get on AEW Dynamite. To their credit, they tried to push some storylines more than usual, so that’s a plus at least. Jay White debuting in AEW in the first minute of the show was actually a pretty good idea. I liked how it was done. You don’t always have to give us an advertised match. Do an angle and build to Ricky Starks getting revenge against Juice & Jay in the future.
The opening Trios Tag Team Match was entertaining with House of Black beating Best Friends. Jamie Hayter and Riho had a competitive match for the Women’s Title as well. Matt Hardy turning on Ethan Page was obviously coming, so they pulled the trigger on that here. I thought Bryan Danielson’s heel promo was way better than the Sammy Guevara promo. The MJF thing was interesting with a musical performance, but that’s Max getting to do what he wants. It didn’t make me care about his storyline with his rivals, though.
It’s good to have FTR as AEW Tag Team Champions. I think The Gunns were just champions so that FTR could beat a heel team instead of The Acclaimed. I really like FTR and I think Dax Harwood has a great podcast, but the way he constantly brought up their contracts being up in April screamed “angle alert” to me. There’s nothing wrong with it because that’s pro wrestling. I’m just saying just because a pro wrestler says something in an interview or a podcast it doesn’t mean they are “shooting” or being real all the time. It’s their job to sell storylines, so that’s what they did while trying to present it as being “real” on his podcast. Just my opinion anyway.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.