The John Report: AEW Dynamite 05/03/23 Review
This week’s AEW Dynamite featured MJF teaming with Sammy Guevara against Darby Allin & Jack Perry, plus Ricky Starks facing Juice Robinson and more.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #187 at the CFG Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. 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.
There was an eight man tag team match to start the show.
Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Orange Cassidy & Bandido vs. Jericho Appreciation Society – Jake Hager, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker & Daniel Garcia
Chris Jericho joined commentary for the match while hiding behind the JAS guys to hide from Adam Cole getting to him. Jericho was wearing a Britt Baker black eye shirt.
Strong started in his AEW debut match as he unleashed on Garcia with chops. Cole tagged in to stomp on Garcia repeatedly. Parker tagged in, so Cole hit him with a pump kick. Bandido tagged in with a powerslam on Parker. Menard went into the ring to knock down Bandido as well. All eight guys got in the ring for a staredown and then a slugfest ensued from there. Hager tossed Orange across the ring. Orange came back with an impressive DDT on Hager. When Orange tried a dive, Hager caught him and Hager drove Orange into the ring post. Bandido hit a somersault over the top onto a few guys. Cole was walking up the ramp to go after Jericho, but the JAS guys stopped Cole. Back in the ring, Bandido kept trying for suplex on Menard and Parker individually, so then Bandido hit a double suplex. That led to a picture-in-picture break.
The Jas guys were working over Orange in their corner for a few minutes as the match returned. Orange countered Menard with a Stundog Millionaire and then Strong tagged in with slams and backbreakers. Strong with kicks, then a kick to the head and Strong hit an Angle Slam for two. Garcia kicked Strong to the corner, Orange tagged in and Garcia applied the Dragon Slayer submission, so Cole superkicked Garcia. Menard with a clothesline, Strong with a kick, Parker with a kick, Bandido with a slam on Parker and Hager with a lifting powerslam. Orange with an Orange Punch on Hager. Orange hit Beach Break on Garcia for a two count. Orange and Bandido hit suicide dives. Parker got a rollup on Strong for two. Cole tagged in, Strong knocked down Parker and Cole hit a running knee to the back of the head for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Orange Cassidy & Bandido
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match that got a lot of time. This certainly could be a more decisive win by the face team, but the JAS got a lot of offense in the match. The JAS guys lose a lot, so it’s not a surprise to see them losing here. I thought Strong might get the pin since it was his debut AEW match. However, Cole winning makes logical sense since he’s feuding with Jericho. That gives Cole more momentum going into that match when it happens.
After the match, Cole ran up the ramp and went after Jericho. Cole punched Jericho repeatedly. Security showed up to break it up. Jericho shouted to get Cole out of there as Cole was helped to the backstage area. The crowd was cheering during this. They reacted to it well.
Analysis: I liked the idea behind this. It is what Cole should do by going after Jericho like that. There was security here quickly, but no security when Jericho and The Outcasts beat up Cole and Baker for like five minutes in the ring. That’s the inconsistency in AEW that is frustrating to watch. Anyway, Jericho and Cole will have a great match when it happens likely at Double or Nothing.
Jack Perry and Darby Allin were interviewed by Renee Paquette. Jack mentioned they have been in AEW since day one, but they have yet to main event a pay-per-view and they will do that if they win this match tonight. Darby was confident that they would win while saying “it’s showtime” to end it as a nod to his mentor Sting.
They showed Adam Cole getting taken out of the arena by security while Chris Jericho yelled for them to take Cole out. Britt Baker walked up to Jericho and slapped him. Baker called him “Bitch Jericho” while Jericho went down to sell the slap.
The Blackpool Combat Club was shown backstage with Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta. Bryan talked about how Bret Hart saying he was the best there is, was and ever will be, but that’s egotistical to think nobody would be better. Bryan said that he’s the best wrestler in the world and the best there’s ever been. Bryan hopes this “little shit” Yuta is better than him. Bryan said that the BCC wants to make people better. Jon Moxley talked about his Steel Cage match against Kenny Omega next week on Dynamite. Moxley said that there’s a whole new version of Moxley that he can’t wait to show Omega. Moxley said he’ll leave one hell of a mark.
Analysis: I am surprised Moxley isn’t already bleeding ahead of the steel cage match next week.
Saraya (w/Toni Storm & Ruby Soho) vs. Willow Nightingale
Saraya bailed to the floor, then Willow was on the apron and Saraya did a running kick. Willow came back with a shoulder tackle. Willow hit a dropkick off the middle rope for two. Willow with a corner clothesline, then Storm grabbed Willow’s boot while the referee wasn’t looking and Saraya hit a running kick. Saraya distracted the referee while Storm and Ruby did some cheap shots on the floor. They went to a PIP break.
Willow was in control after a spinebuster. Willow got an inside cradle for two. Saraya came back with a neckbreaker for two. Willow got a hold of Saraya on her shoulders and Willow hit a Death Valley Driver. Storm distracted the referee, Soho on the apron, Willow brought her in the ring and did the Pounce. Willow punched Storm off the apron. Saraya hit the Good Knight lifting DDT for the pinfall win after seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Saraya
Analysis: **1/2 The usual kind of match for any of the Outcast women where the others get involved and they pick up the win. The babyface women in AEW continually look like fools in matches against them. Anyway, Saraya did well in the match and I like Willow’s charisma as a babyface that you can get behind.
Post match, The Outcasts trio attacked Willow again. Hikaru Shida ran out there with a kendo stick and she hugged Saraya as well as the other girls. The announcers were shocked by it. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter showed up in the ring, but then Shida sprayed the spray paint on Saraya’s face. Shida did not join The Outcasts. Shida beat on Saraya, Storm & Soho with the kendo stick. Shida spray-painted AEW on the three Outcasts. Baker, Hayter and Shida stood together in the ring to celebrate.
Analysis: It looked like The Outcasts gained an ally, but Shida fooled them and now the faces Hayter-Baker have some support from Shida. This should lead to a six-woman tag team match at some point.
House of Black did a promo in a darkened area talking about being the Trios Tag Team Champions. They talked about how any three competitors will have a shot at their titles. They have will 20-second countouts, no rope escapes, DQ is enforced and it is dealer’s choice. That is the Open House.
Analysis: It was an announcement of some new rules for Trios Tag Team Title matches. It was a bit confusing, so we’ll have to see when AEW remembers to book them in a match.
Lucha Brothers entered with El Hijo Del Vikingo for a Trios De Mayo Battle Royal.
Tres De Mayo Trios Battle Royal
It’s a battle royal featuring six three-man teams so there are 18 guys in the match. All three members of the team have to be eliminated for a team to be taken out of the match. The Acclaimed trio consisting of Max Caster, Anthony Bowens and “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn were last.
Evil Uno tossed Ari Daivari as the first elimination. Uno was dumped out by Aaron Solo & QT Marshall. Penta & Fenix worked together to eliminate Nese. Vikingo eliminated Josh Woods with a hurricanrana so the Varsity Athletes team is out. Alex Reynolds was eliminated by Marshall & Solo. Lucha Brothers eliminated Marshall & Solo right after that. Lucha Bros with a double superkick on Hobbs, who no sold it and Hobbs clotheslined both Lucha Bros out because Hobbs partners on the floor helped. Vikingo hit a suicide dive. Viking jumped onto Hobbs, who tossed Vikingo over to eliminate him. Hobbs knocked down Gunn with a clothesline. The Acclaimed avoided a charging Hobbs and dumped Hobbs out. Butcher punched Caster to eliminate him over the top to the floor. Blade hit a neckbreaker on Bowens. Butcher and Blade mocked the scissor gesture of The Acclaimed. John Silver was still in there as a member of the Dark Order team. Silver hit a delayed vertical suplex on Blade while Butcher and Sabian didn’t even try to help their buddy. Silver with a pump kick, then a running knee and German Suplex, but Blade eliminated Silver.
The trios team of Butcher, Blade & Kip Sabian were still in there against The Acclaimed’s Bowens and Gunn. Blade with a Stunner on Billy, Butcher with a clothesline and Gunn was tossed over the top, but Gunn stayed on the apron. Bowens tossed Blade over the top to the floor. Billy kicked Butcher, superkick by Bowens on Sabian and Gunn/Bowens each hit Fameasser moves. Gunn tossed out Butcher and Bowens tossed out Sabian at the same time, so The Acclaimed win. It went about nine minutes.
Winners: The Acclaimed – Max Caster, Anthony Bowens and “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn
Analysis: **1/4 It was an average battle royal. I would have liked to see more from the Lucha Bros and El Hijo Del Vikingo, but this match wasn’t about showcasing them. The Acclaimed winning is fine and should lead to a Trios Tag Team Match.
Sammy Guevara was interviewed by Renee Paquette talking about how Sammy and MJF have to win this week to ensure the match at Double or Nothing is a singles match instead of a four-way. MJF showed up, Sammy said that nobody was in the car when MJF left and MJF claimed he had back pain from carrying the company. MJF admitted he was a horrible friend and Sammy deserved better. Sammy kissed Max on the head twice. They hugged to show they are ready.
Analysis: I doubt anybody watching this show thinks that Sammy & MJF will win the main event. At least they are entertaining together.
Kenny Omega with Don Callis did a promo. Callis pointed at the giant scar on his head and he had 23 stitches put in his head. Callis said that Jon Moxley will lose every time to Kenny’s talent and Don’s mind. Omega said we know Moxley can fight, Moxley might Moxley bleed and make himself bleed, but everything comes to an end in Detroit. Omega said that the BCC made it worse by what they did to The Elite and it ends next week.
Analysis: The reason Don had that massive cut on his head is because he was knocked down and landed on some object that cut him. It was a fluky mistake, but they want to try to sell it like Moxley caused it.
Wardlow (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Logan Leroux
Wardlow hit a spinebuster, then mocked taking out a gun as an Arn tribute and a wind up clothesline. Wardlow hit two straight Powerbombs on Logan. Wardlow hit a third Powerbomb for the win after one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Wardlow
Analysis: 1/4* Squash city for Wardlow as usual.
Wardlow did a post-match promo saying he can do this all day. Wardlow called for Christian Cage to bring his monster Luchasaurus out here right now and we can do this right now.
Christian Cage made his entrance with Luchasaurus. Christian called Baltimore ignorant and trash. Christian said he could send Luchasaurus to take that title right now, but that’s going to happen, especially not in Baltimore (cheap heat for boos). Luchasaurus said that the title shot doesn’t belong to Luchasaurus, the title shot belongs to Christian. They left while Wardlow and Arn were surprised by that.
Analysis: Christian lost his last match to Jungle Boy, so now he claims he is due a title shot? That’s bizarre.
The group of Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh showed up in Delaware. They were at Mark Briscoe’s farm. They had Mark’s young son there as well. Papa Briscoe showed up as the heels left. Papa Briscoe said he knows Mark is good friends with Lethal, but keep your eyes on the rest of them. Lethal & Jarrett said that they are issuing a Tag Team Title match against FTR, so Jeff told Mark to come with them to talk strategy since The Briscoes beat FTR in the past.
Analysis: Papa Briscoe was there to try to warn Mark about the heels. Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal each won singles matches over the FTR guys, so apparently that’s enough to get a tag team title match.
Ricky Starks vs. Juice Robinson
Jay White entered with Juice, but then Jay went to the back. Starks with a clothesline and another clothesline out of the ring. Starks whipped Juice hard into the barricade at ringside. Juice did an eye gouge on the floor. Starks gave Juice a back body drop on the floor. Juice whipped Starks hard into the steel steps. Juice with a body slam on the floor. Starks sent Juice into the ring post. Starks climbed the ring steps and body slammed Juice on the floor. They went to break there.
Juice was in control with some punches, but Starks ran the ropes with a leaping clothesline. Starks with a back body drop and Tornado DDT out of the corner that did not look very smooth, but it was effective enough. Juice tripped up Starks for a two count. Starks hit a brainbuster. Starks went to the ropes for a splash, Juice got the knees up and Starks was selling a rib injury. Juice hit a cannonball in the corner. Juice hit a top rope hurricanrana followed by a lariat for two. Ricky reversed a move into a rollup. Juice with a double chop to the throat. Ricky avoided a move, ducked a kick and Ricky hit a Spear. Ricky hit the Rochambeau slam for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ricky Starks
Analysis: ***1/4 They had a pretty good match here with Starks getting the win in this match that had an obvious result since you can tell they are building Starks against White as the main match, so Juice was just a guy in Ricky’s way. I think the ending was well done.
Post match, Jay White attacked Starks with punches and kicks in the corner with Excalibur saying there was no Shawn Spears there to help Starks. White went for a move, Starks powered out of it and Juice saved White from it. White and Juice left.
Analysis: I assume we will see Starks against White at Double or Nothing later this month.
There was a rundown of all the Rampage and Dynamite matches by fast talking Excalibur. I’m not sure if I’ll do lengthy reviews of Rampage in the future. If I don’t then I’ll just post results. The big match on Dynamite next week is Kenny Omega facing Jon Moxley in a Steel Cage Match.
They showed Jack Perry and Darby Allin in their dressing room as they shoved eachother to get fired up. Darby left the room. MJF went into the room saying he knows he can be at the top of AWE with Jack. MJF said all Jack has to do is betray a man like Darby that doesn’t even like. MJF told Jack he loves him, but Jack is not World Championship material. MJF was offering a spot next to the throne, Jack said he’s not looking for a spot and said he wants the crown. Darby walked in, MJF left saying he wasn’t looking for trouble and Jack said it was nothing, they’ve got this. Darby said “I’ve got this” as he stared at Jack.
Analysis: A nice way to tease a possible twist to the main event match.
It was main event time with “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry up first. Darby Allin was next and he gave his skateboard to a fan on his way toward the ring. There was a music mash-up for AEW World Champion MJF and Sammy Guevara as they both entered wearing scarves.
Darby Allin & “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman & Sammy Guevara
If Jack & Darby win then the Double or Nothing match for the AEW World Title will be a Fatal 4-Way between these “Four Pillars” of AEW. If Sammy & MJF win then it’s just MJF against Sammy at Double or Nothing.
Jack hit Sammy with a dropkick, so MJF and Allin tagged in. Allin and MJF each got takedowns leading to nearfalls. Jack tagged in, MJF complained about hair pulling and it was a lie leading to Jack hitting a chop. Allin and Jack hit a double team back elbow for two on MJF. Sammy hit Allin with a knee to the back that the referee didn’t see, which led to MJF hitting Allin with a forearm to the back. Sammy choked Allin with a scarf while the referee was looking at Jack. When Sammy did it again, the referee saw it and then did nothing about it. There was more scarf choking by Sammy after the referee was distracted, so then Allin choked Sammy with the scarf. Allin choked MJF and hit a Stunner on him. MJF grabbed Jack off the apron and whipped Jack into the barricade. That led to a PIP break.
Sammy was in control of Allin, but Allin hit a body slam. Allin broke free to bring in Jack, who hit a cross body block off the top. Jack bounced off the ropes with a double clothesline. Jack hit a suicide dive on MJF and one for Sammy on the other side. Jack hit suicide dives on both guys again. Jack hit a somersault dive over the top on MJF on the floor. Jack wanted another dive, but Sammy moved and Allin hit a suicide dive on Sammy on the floor. Back in the ring, Jack hit a Tiger Driver on Sammy for two. MJF grabbed Jack’s boot and Sammy hit a Spanish Fly off the top for two. Jack avoided a double team move followed by Jack getting an enziguri kick to MJF. Allin hit Code Red on Sammy. MJF countered a Code Red attempt into a sitout Powerbomb for two. Allin got the tag as MJF lifted Allin and Jack put MJF in a Snare Trap submission. Sammy broke up the submission leading to Sammy tossing Jack out of the ring. Sammy did a twisting dive over the top while MJF didn’t do the leap. Shocking. MJF hit a cradle DDT move for a two count. Sammy tagged in with a Swanton Bomb, but MJF made the tag so MJF covered for two and Sammy argued with him about the tag. MJF hit a backbreaker while Sammy made the tag and got a two count. Sammy and MJF argued, so MJF slapped Sammy in the head and Sammy superkicked MJF to knock him down. Jack hit a rollup and superkick. Jack hit a running elbow to the back of the head. Allin made the tag and Allin hit a Coffin Drop dive onto Sammy for the pinfall win after about 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Darby Allin & “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry
Analysis: ***1/4 I think we could all see that coming with Sammy eating the pin to give Allin & Jack the win. They did the long face-in-peril spot with the heels working over Allin for a lot of it before Jack got the tag and the last five minutes were exciting. MJF and Sammy argued, Sammy dropped Max with a superkick and Jack/Allin finished off Sammy from there. It has been obvious for over one month that AEW was going with the 4-Way at Double or Nothing, so now it’s official.
The result means the Double or Nothing match for the AEW World Title will see MJF defending the title against Allin, Perry and Guevara.
MJF backed up the ramp with his AEW World Title while looking at a graphic about the Double or Nothing match. The other wrestlers stared at MJF from a distance. MJF was angry about it. End show.
Analysis: I think MJF will retain the AEW World Title at Double or Nothing. I just don’t see any of these guys beating him although I think if anybody has a shot then maybe Allin does. For right now I’ll go with MJF keeping his title.
Three Stars of the Show
- Darby Allin & Jack Perry
- Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Orange Cassidy & Bandido
- Ricky Starks
This Week: 7.5 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
2023 Average: 7.49
It was a good show this week with the babyface team of Jack Perry & Darby Allin beating MJF & Sammy Guevara obviously to set up the four-way match at Double or Nothing. They could have announced this a month ago, but they had a month of TV to fill, so might as well drag it out. Anyway, the match was solid. I thought the opening eight-man tag team match was a better match. That was done well with Adam Cole getting the win and then going after Chris Jericho to further that story. Cole-Jericho at DON should be made official soon.
I thought the battle royal was boring. Ricky Starks beating Juice Robinson was okay and it’s obviously leading to Starks-Jay White probably at the DON PPV. The women’s match was the usual match from The Outcasts getting a distracting win, but then Hikaru Shida had a nice swerve to fight with Hayter & Baker against The Outcasts. Not much talking throughout the show this week. That’s fine, but I think sometimes you gotta break up the matches with some promos.
There wasn’t much movement in the Blackpool Combat Club story with The Elite. We got backstage promos, but that’s it. That was a bit disappointing because I was hoping to see a follow up to that story that was more significant than what we got. Next week we get Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega in a Steel Cage Match on Dynamite, so Moxley will probably bleed in the first minute of that match. It should be an excellent match.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Double or Nothing on Sunday, May 28th. Here’s what we know so far:
AEW World Championship: MJF (c) vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin
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