The John Report: AEW Dynamite 05/10/23 Review
This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a Kenny Omega-Jon Moxley Steel Cage Match, titles on the line, and plenty more.
PLEASE NOTE: As of this Saturday, May 13th, I’m going to be on vacation for the next seven days. That means that next week starting with the May 15th Raw through that week, I’m not going to have reviews of the shows I typically write about. When that vacation ends, I’m probably going to do some sort of condensed reviews of the shows I missed. It’s my first full week off since July 2022, so I look forward to disconnecting from social media and not writing for nearly all that week. As for TJRWrestling.net, our team of great writers led by my good friend Lyle will keep on producing content because that’s what we do. I’m so proud of our team. All this means is that my reviews won’t be coming next week, so don’t freak out. I’m fine. I am just taking a week off.
With regard AEW Rampage, I have stopped reviewing it. Sorry, but it’s just not that interesting to me. I’ll review AEW Collision when it starts in June.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #188 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. 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. The announcers said this was a “pay-per-view quality” show dozens of times during the episode.
Double Jeopardy Match: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes)
If Fenix wins then he gets a shot at Claudio’s ROH World title. If Claudio wins then he gets a shot with a partner at Fenix’s ROH Tag Team Titles.
Fenix tried to use his speed early on to do some moves, but Claudio caught him with a backbreaker. Fenix stunned Claudio with punches and then hit a springboard hurricanrana. Fenix hit a suicide dive and then a second suicide dive to knock Claudio down on the floor. When Fenix tried another dive, Claudio caught him and pressed him onto the barricade. Fenix worked over Claudio with punches, then Fenix walked the barricade and did a hurricanrana on the floor. It’s a thinner barricade in AEW compared to when Jeff Hardy did it in WWE, so it’s impressive. I don’t think the referee was counting them out of the ring because it’s AEW. Anyway, Claudio got a hold of Fenix in the ring and slammed him. Fenix hit a hurricanrana while Claudio was on the top turnbuckle. Claudio with a clothesline. Fenix left the ring, Claudio hit him with an uppercut and Claudio press slammed Fenix over the barricade in the crowd. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Claudio was in control with a running uppercut along with a gutwrench suplex off the turnbuckle. They exchanged strikes, Claudio avoided a spin kick and Fenix hit a superkick. Fenix with a spin kick that the announcers called a “glancing blow” since it didn’t touch Claudio and Fenix hit a Cutter for two. Fenix jumped off the top with a moonsault onto a standing Claudio on the floor. Back in the ring, Fenix jumped off the top right into an uppercut by Claudio. There was a lift from Claudio, but Fenix turned it into a Code Red for two. Fenix knocked Claudio down after a few superkicks for a two count. Claudio managed to lift Fenix onto his back for a spinning slam for two. Claudio with hammer elbows that looked okay, but not great. Claudio hit a Ricola Bomb for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Claudio Castagnoli
Analysis: ***3/4 Great match. Two of the best guys in AEW in my opinion and two of my favorites. Fenix makes everything look so simple from an athletic standpoint while Claudio was impressive with his power moves throughout the match. When Fenix is in tag team matches I think sometimes he goes too fast and doesn’t sell, but he’s better in singles matches because he sells well and that helps the match. I liked how it was put together and the clean finish was the right way to end it.
The win means that Claudio and a partner get to challenge the Lucha Bros (Fenix & Penta) for the ROH Tag Team Titles.
Claudio celebrated the win while they showed Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta watching approvingly on a TV in the backstage area.
Miro was shown walking backstage with Renee Paquette asking him what brings him back here.
Analysis: Congratulations to AEW remembering Miro still works there. He had four matches last year and zero this year.
There was a pre-tape Maxwell Jacob Friedman promo as the AEW World Champion spoke about how he will have more longevity over the other four pillars – Darby Allin, Jack Perry and Sammy Guevara. MJF bragged about his accomplishments in AEW while naming wrestlers he has beaten like Jon Moxley, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson and so on. MJF said that his reign of terror has just begun.
Analysis: A typical MJF promo. It was less than two minutes with Max saying the same stuff he always says. Max wrestles about once a month and gets weeks off like this week. Nice gig if you can get it.
A video aired about Kenny Omega-Jon Moxley talking about their Steel Cage match. They showed some highlights of the Omega-Moxley history going back four years this month when Moxley debuted at Double or Nothing 2019.
Let’s Hear from FTR
The FTR duo of Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler entered as the AEW Tag Team Champions. Dax said that they had an apology for somebody, so he called for Mark Briscoe to come out there.
Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal entered with Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh, who joined FTR in the ring. Dutt wanted FTR to accept the Tag Team Title match challenge at Double or Nothing. Dax asked the fans, who weren’t so sure about it. Dax said he’ll accept the challenge if they admit to using Mark Briscoe to get to FTR. Dutt said that Mark is their friend.
Mark Briscoe joined the promo party telling them to relax as Mark got into the ring. Mark said he got news from Tony Khan and said that for the FTR match against Lethal/Jarrett at Double or Nothing, Mark is going to be the referee. Mark had a bottle of booze, passed some drinks around and Dutt spit the alcohol in Dax’s eyes. Briscoe was shoved into Dax, who caught Mark (without knowing it was Mark) and Dax hit Mark with a piledriver. Cash told Dax about what he did and Dax was able to see what happened.
Analysis: That was pretty silly, but it worked in getting the angle across about Jarrett, Lethal and friends being jerks as usual. Dax accidentally hitting a piledriver on Mark by accident was a dramatic move to further the story. They should have replayed the key spot in that, but they didn’t do it.
Chris Jericho was interviewed by Renee Paquette. Jericho said that he got a court order against Adam Cole due to Cole’s attack when Jericho was on commentary. If Jericho is in an arena then Cole isn’t allowed to be there. Roderick Strong walked up saying Adam Cole was one of his best friends so he’s going to challenge Jericho to a Falls Count Anywhere match and Jericho accepted it. Jericho warned Strong that he’s got a whole army behind him. Strong also got legal counsel saying that the Jericho Appreciation Society is banned from the building. Strong left while Jericho looked at the papers.
Analysis: That makes me think they could have somebody that’s not in the JAS help Jericho get the win over Strong. Also worth nothing the fans booed when they mentioned the match would be next week because the fans wanted it to be this week. Sorry Detroit fans.
Renee Paquette was trying to talk to Miro. Thunder Rosa walked up to Renee saying it seems like a good night to talk to Tony so she went into his office.
Analysis: I believe that in the past when Tony Khan has been shown on camera was in the Gorilla position running the show, but they are pushing the story that he is in his office.
Sammy Guevara was featured in a promo saying he was a pillar of AEW and he’s too good to be denied. Chris Jericho said that Sammy was brought into AEW to be a star. Sammy’s wife Tay Melo said he belongs in the main event in the AEW World Title match. Jericho said that Sammy’s potential has been realized. Sammy said to be able to be a World Champion shows dreams can come true and if you listen to your heart, those dreams can come true.
Tony Khan was shown backstage with a microphone talking about how tonight’s show is one of the best lineups we have ever had. Tony said that in the back, there are stars looking for chances to wrestle in AEW. Tony said it’s more clear than ever that AEW can produce even more content. Tony said that next week we’ll have a huge announcement on Dynamite. Tony thanked us and that was it.
Analysis: It was likely a pre-tape promo from Tony rather than something live. He seems to be more comfortable that way. Anyway, the announcement next week will be about the new AEW Saturday night show called Collison that is going to launch on June 17th. It’s not a mystery.
International Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. Daniel Garcia
It was the usual comedy bits to start the match. Garcia was wrenching back on Orange’s injured right hand and a neck snap across the top rope. Orange barely sold it because he hit a suicide dive that sent Garcia into the barricade. Back in the ring, Orange hit a cross body block off the top. Garcia came back with a running back elbow. Garcia sent Orange into the turnbuckle, then a slam back first onto the apron and Garcia slammed Orange onto the top of the barricade. They went to a PIP break.
Garcia worked over Orange’s left knee with elbow strikes. Orange punched Garcia in the ribs while they were on the turnbuckle and weak elbow strikes to the head. Garcia blocked punch and hit a superplex. Garcia wanted another move, but Orange hit a Stundog Millionaire. It didn’t look good. At least Garcia sold it. Garcia wrenched the left knee. Orange and Garcia exchanged forearms followed by Garcia kicking the left knee. Garcia stomped on Orange’s right hand. Orange countered a move into a Beach Break slam for two. Garcia dropkicked Orange in the left knee. Garcia did the comedy kicks that led to boos and then Garcia kicked Orange in the head. Garcia hit a piledriver for two. Orange barely sold that because he got a rollup for two. Orange with a punch and Beach Break again got a two count. Garcia applied his Dragon Tamer submission move, but then he lost his balance and sat back on his ass, which makes the move less effective. Garcia applied a Crossface submission and he stomped on Orange’s right hand. Orange and Garcia each got rollups. Orange hooked the arms and got a cradle for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy
Analysis: ***1/2 It was pretty good. Some of the comedy was too much for my liking, but that’s what happens in Orange’s matches. Garcia applying that submission and then falling on his ass while doing it didn’t look good at all. It made the move look silly. The finish was well done with Orange finding yet another way to win one of these matches to keep his title.
The Outcasts (Saraya, Toni Storm & Ruby Soho) did a promo talking about how Hikaru Shida wasn’t there this week. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter responded to the promo saying Shida is back next week. The Outcasts challenged them to a six-woman tag team match and Baker-Hayter accepted that challenge.
Analysis: That’s fine as a match for next week. It has been built up well.
Let’s Hear from Christian Cage
Christian Cage made his entrance with Luchasaurus for an interview in the ring with Tony Schiavone, who mentioned TNT Champion Wardlow and Arn Anderson were not there. Christian told Detroit they’re the worst city in the country, so keep quiet while he conducts his business. Christian said he’s the number one contender because he is Christian Cage. The fans were booing a lot, so Christian had to try to speak over them saying that because of his name, he gets the shot. Christian wondered about AEW wrestlers with “daddy issues” while fans chanted “shut the f**k up” at him. Christian mentioned Wardlow’s father saying he wasn’t famous and nobody cares about him, but he found Arn Anderson. Christian said that Arn was asking for a new son while fans chanted “asshole” at Christian, who mentioned Brock Anderson was under contract in AEW. Christian talked about how Arn shoved Brock to the side and helped Wardlow instead. Christian trashed Arn for being Tully Blanchard’s partner, being in Ric Flair’s shadow and mocked Arn for not being a World Champion. Christian bragged about how he was a former multi-time World Champion. Christian had to yell while the fans were chanting something at him and Christian said he’s going to take the TNT Title from Wardlow. Christian told Detroit to kiss his ass and left.
Analysis: A strong heel promo from Christian as usual. From a logical standpoint, he lost his last match to Jungle Boy and there should be others getting TNT Title matches before he does.
Darby Allin was shown in a promo video talking about how he trains with a skateboard and a dirt bike. Darby’s dad and dog was shown in the video. Darby said that this business gave so much to him, his friends and his family. Sting spoke about the kind of guy that Darby is. Darby said he knows where he’s going and how to get there while claiming he’s going to Double or Nothing become the AEW World Champion.
Analysis: I think MJF retaining the World Title is the most likely result in that match. Out of the three challengers, I think Darby would be a good choice to win.
No Holds Barred Match: Julia Hart vs. Anna Jay
The ring announcer Justin Roberts said that this match is no countouts, no disqualifications and anything goes because this match is No Holds Barred.
Julia Hart was making her entrance, so Anna Jay hit her in the back with a steel chair to the back. Excalibur said they were best friends, but they are not now. Julia managed to sent Jay out of the ring and Hart threw Jay into the barricade three times. Hart hit Jay in the back and ribs with a kendo stick. Back in the ring, Jay hit Hart with the kendo stick two times. They left the ring with Jay hitting a snap suplex. Hart managed to send Jay into the ring post. Hart sent Jay into the ringside table a few times. They went to a PIP break.
Jay was in control with a Gory Bomb onto a pile of chairs on the floor. Back in the ring, Jay got a two count. Jay splashed Hart while a trash can was on top of Hart. Jay did a kick motion with her leg, but it didn’t look like she really connected on the kick. Jay spent way too long putting a pile of chairs in the ring. Hart blocked a move onto the chairs. Hart was grabbing her right hip a lot. Hart hit a superplex onto the pile of chairs and Jay’s legs were the only part of her that hit the chairs. That wasn’t done very well. Hart applied the Hartless submission pulling back on the arms and Jay tapped out. It went about ten minutes.
Winner by submission: Julia Hart
Analysis: **3/4 I appreciate the effort of the women, but it wasn’t any different than most hardcore matches. Both women are part of heel stables although I don’t know if House of Black are heels or faces – it depends on the week. Jay is a heel with the JAS group. They really didn’t do the chair spot at the finish well because I think Hart was supposed to suplex Jay onto the chairs so that most of Jay’s body hit the chairs, but it was only her legs that barely grazed the chairs. It was a decisive win by Hart. Good for her although I don’t know if this means she’ll get a title shot or anything significant any time soon.
Best Friends and Bandido were backstage with Orange Cassidy along with Renee Paquette conducting the interview. They got to pick a rule for the match and they barred Julia Hart from ringside for House of Black. That Trios Tag Team Title match was next.
The House of Black trio made their entrance as the Trios Tag Team Champions. They are 5-0 as a trios team in 2023. Only five trios matches and we’re in the fifth month of the year? That’s a light schedule.
AEW Trios Tag Team Championships: House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews vs. Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta and Bandido
It’s an “open house match” as per the champions House of Black. No disqualification, no rope breaks and there’s a 20 count outside the ring.
They had a spotlight on the ring with the crowd in the dark for this match to give it a different feel. The fans chanted “House of Black.” Black hit a running knee on Bandido. Black trapped Bandido in a kneebar submission leading to Bandido getting to the ropes, but there are no rope breaks. Bandido left the ring. Trent and Chuck did some double team moves like a double elbow drop. King tagged in, Black tripped up Trent and King hit as senton splash onto Trent. They went to a PIP break.
Trent hit Buddy with a DDT along with a superkick for a two count. Bandido got he tag, he hit a tornedo twisting dive and a crucifix bomb onto Black. Bandido hit a dive over the top onto Black and King on the floor. Bandido with a kick to Murphy, but when Bandido tried a top rope leap, Buddy stopped him with a jumping knee. Tayler was in with a sole food kick and King tagged in with a Dante’s Inferno sitout piledriver for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: AEW Trios Tag Team Championships: House of Black – Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews
Analysis: **1/2 It was okay, but then it just kind of ended suddenly. Some more nearfalls for the challengers would have been nice to see. Bandido got a bit of a flurry of offense although it wasn’t that much. Easy win for the champions. I hope House of Black gets an actual storyline some day because they rarely have any storyline.
Orange Cassidy was shown down in the backstage area. Kyle Fletcher from Aussie Open had his two titles in his hand and picked up Orange’s International Title as well.
A video aired about “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry talking about how he started to train for wrestling about nine or ten years old. Christian Cage talked about how he thinks Jack has the most talent of the four pillars and he can win that AEW World Championship. Jack said that Christian sold him that this difference is colder than he thought. Jack trashed MJF for wrestling only a few times per year and you don’t need to take shortcuts like MJF did. Jack thinks that he Double or Nothing match will be something spectacular.
There was a rundown of Rampage on Saturday night. I don’t watch it anymore.
Next week on AEW Dynamite:
* Jamie Hayter, Britt Baker & Hikaru Shida vs. The Outcasts – Saraya, Toni Storm & Ruby Soho.
* Ricky Starks vs. Jay White. Starks and White did promos about the match.
* Falls Count Anywhere: Chris Jericho vs. Roderick Strong.
The steel cage was lowered on the ring for the main event.
Jon Moxley made his entrance representing the Blackpool Combat Club with Bryan Danielson joining him for the match. That match and some Moxley blood was up next.
Kenny Omega made his entrance for the main event with Don Callis. The graphic said that Omega is 16-0-1 in Dynamite singles matches.
Moxley attacked Omega in the aisle before the match. Omega and Moxley were fighting by ringside. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta showed up to beat up Omega, but The Young Bucks were there to stop them with superkicks. Bryan Danielson was on commentary at the start of the match, then the Young Bucks teased going after Bryan, but Claudio took care of them with uppercuts. Nick threatened Bryan on commentary but instead Nick jumped off the ramp onto Claudio & Yuta on the floor. It was only like a five foot jump like a cross body block off the top rope. Anyway, the security guys made the wrestlers go to the back.
Steel Cage Match: Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega (w/Don Callis)
Moxley and Omega finally entered the cage to start the match. Bryan remained on commentary. Omega hit a running boot to the face, a rolling senton and a moonsault off the middle ropes for two. Omega pulled out a barbed wire steel chair from under the ring. Moxley kicked Omega in the gut, but then Omega threw the cut into Moxley’s head. Omega hit Moxley in the back with the barbed wire chair. Omega did a double foot stomp onto the chair on Moxley’s back and Moxley’s bac k was bleeding. Moxley was bleeding from the forehead (that only took two minutes into the match) and Moxley threw Omega into the camera that was on the apron. Moxley shoved Omega back first into the steel cage while Moxley hit Omega in the back with the barbed wire steel chair. Omega with a bulldog that sent Moxley into the barbed wire chair, but you can see Moxley put his hand there. Omega gave Moxley a body slam onto the chair/barbed wire. Omega superplexed Moxley onto the barbed wire steel chair. Ouch. That’s how you do that spot correctly.
Moxley was using a steel piece from the cable (ring ropes) and put it into Omega’s mouth. Moxley was trying to choke Omega with the rope. Omega tried to fight back, but Moxley hit him with a knee to the jaw. Moxley dumped out a bag of broken glass with the fans cheering it. Moxley tried a move, but Omega countered it into a slam on the mat, but not on the glass. Omega with a knee to the jaw. Moxley countered a move with a choke, Moxley was on Kenny’s back and Omega fell back so that Moxley’s back was driven into the broken glass. Loud “holy shit” chant by the crowd that was justified. Moxley tried to choke out Omega again, but Omega got out of it. Omega countered a move leading to a V-Tigger knee. Omega and Moxley exchanged open-handed palm strikes. Omega with two knees (the second barely touched him) and Omega hit a Snapdragon Suplex near the broken glass. Omega hit a running V-Trigger knee that sent Moxley into the cage and Moxley went back first onto the cage on the floor. Omega had his right leg trapped between the ring and the cage. That looked rough. Moxley tossed Omega back into the ring while Moxley grabbed a screwdriver. Callis went into the ring and grabbed the screwdriver. Omega hit a knee, then another V-Triger knee and Omega hit a One Winged Angel for the one…two…and Callis hit Omega in the head with the screwdriver! The crowd was booing that big time. Moxley rolled over and covered Omega for the pinfall win after 16 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: **** That was a wild match as you would expect from these guys in a Steel Cage Match. Big twist at the end with Don Callis turning against Kenny Omega, who is like family to Callis. I don’t know if most people watching this could see that one coming, so I like it as a shocking surprise. Omega clearly had the match won after hitting the One Winged Angel, but Callis would end up costing Omega the match. I think Moxley and Omega did a great job of using the barbed wire steel chair as a tool to tell a violent story in the match. They probably could have used some more weapons too, but at least they got a lot out of that chair.
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/w0tXLzyey9
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 11, 2023
Kenny Omega was bleeding from the forehead because he probably did a blade job. Callis teased spiking him with the screwdriver, but then Callis kissed Omega in the forehead instead. Bryan Danielson was shown smiling about what happened. The fans were chanting “asshole” at Callis, who was happy about what he did. Bryan said we should prise the king of violence, Jon Moxley, for winning that match. Moxley left the cage as the victor while Omega was being checked on by doctors in the ring. Moxley celebrated some more. End show.
Analysis: It’s obviously a big twist having Callis turn on Omega like that since they are so close. The reality is that Callis is way more useful as a character when he’s a heel, so with the BCC guys as the heels, I think this means Callis will probably be aligned with them. That wasn’t really pushed here because Callis didn’t hug Moxley or anything like that, but I assume that’s where this is headed.
Three Stars of the Show
- Jon Moxley/Kenny Omega
- Claudio Castagnoli
- Rey Fenix
This Week: 8 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
2023 Average: 7.51
I liked the show a lot. I don’t think it was full of great matches from top to bottom, but the in-ring action was strong. I enjoyed the opener with Claudio & Fenix a lot. Two guys that need to be on AEW TV more. I know they are on ROH too. Orange Cassidy had a solid match with Daniel Garcia with the usual silliness that comes with Orange’s matches. I liked that ending a lot. House of Black had an easy Trios Tag Team Title win. The women’s match with Julia and Anna was okay, but they missed the chairs doing a superplex right before the submission finish.
The main event Steel Cage Match with Moxley and Omega was bloody, but not as much as I thought. There was a big twist to end the match with Don Callis turning on Omega by attacking Kenny with a screwdriver and Moxley got the cheap win. I didn’t see the turn coming, so kudos to AEW for the swerve. Callis is better as a heel character, that’s for sure. Anyway, the Detroit crowd booed and swore at Callis, so it got the perfect reaction that AEW was going for.
It was good to see that AEW remembered that Miro works there. The guy wrestled four times last year and zero this year. Also, Tony Khan teased a huge announcement next week, which we know is the start of the AEW Collision show in June. More AEW TV coming.
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
AEW Tag Team Championships: FTR – Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood (c) vs. Jeff Jarrett & Jay Lethal – Mark Briscoe is the referee
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.