The John Report: AEW Dynamite 05/31/23 Review

aew dynamite may 31

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a Cole/Baker tag team match against Jericho/Saraya in the main event, Blackpool Combat Club in action and more.

It’s the first Dynamite episode after the Double or Nothing pay-per-view on Sunday night. The last two matches were outstanding, but I thought the matches earlier in the show were below the usual quality for an AEW PPV. I liked Revolution more back in March.

The next AEW pay-per-view is Forbidden Door in Toronto on Sunday, June 25th. I originally had tickets for it and I was going to go, but we recently had a death in my family. There’s going to be a memorial service on that day, so I’m going to be at a church service and family gathering that day. I sold my tickets to one of my good friends, so he can enjoy it with another buddy. Lucky for me, I can go to two AEW shows on Wednesday, June 28 (Dynamite/Rampage) and June 29th (a Thursday taping for Collision) in Hamilton, Ontario, which is only one hour from me.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #191 at the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California. 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.

Bryan Danielson was on commentary for the first match. That’s because the Blackpool Combat Club’s Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta were in action in the opening match. They walked in from the back part of the arena. Bryan liked Moxley wearing his “Death Jitsu” sweatshirt going into this match. They showed clips of the Anarchy in the Arena match won by the BCC after Konosuke Takeshita turned on The Elite. The fans loved Lucha Bros and Bandido during their entrance.

Blackpool Combat Club – Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Lucha Bros – Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo and Bandido (w/Alex Abrahantes)

Lucha Bros and Bandido cleared the ring with superkicks. The BCC trio came back with punches to block some dives. Claudio went fighting with Fenix in the crowd while Yuta sent Bandido into the steel steps. Moxley was fighting Penta by the barricade, but the camera cut away.

Yuta went into the ring with Bandido as the bell finally rang. Yuta with a body slam and a senton splash on Bandido for two. Bandido did a delayed vertical suplex on Yuta while Fenix and Penta held the other two guys in armbars. Bandido held Yuta in a vertical suplex position for a 50 count from the fans. They got into a spotfest sequence with a Cutter and backstabber among other moves. Hit a move and bail to the floor basically. Bandido got a tag against Yuta with Bandido missing a cross body block, so he hit the mat. Claudio with Moxley gave Bandido a spike piledriver on the floor.


Moxley delivered three clotheslines on Bandido, who came back with a boot and uppercut. Bandido did a twisting cross body block on Moxley. Fenix tagged in against Claudio with Fenix hitting a superkick. Yuta into the ring illegally, Fenix kicked him in the jaw and Penta tagged in for a double superkick on Yuta. Penta with a Slingblade on Claudio, then a superkick in the corner and Penta hit a DDT on Moxley, who was illegally in the ring. Claudio nailed Penta with a clothesline. Yuta and Bandido were legal again with Bandido hitting a running dropkick. Bandido hit a lifting Cutter. Fenix and Penta hit somersault dives over the top to the floor. Bandido hit a Superfly Splash off the top for two. Bandido with a rising knee strike. Moxley held onto Yuta to stop a move from Bandido. Claudio with an uppercut on Bandido and Yuta hit a jumping knee strike. Yuta delivered elbow smashes followed by the Seatbelt pinning move for the pinfall win after 12 minutes. Bryan Danielson said he was proud of Yuta getting the win just like he did at Double or Nothing.

Winners by pinfall: Blackpool Combat Club – Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta

Analysis: ***1/2 Great match full of action. Lots of chaos as usual in an AEW six-man tag team match. It’s shocking that Moxley wasn’t a bloody mess in the match. I would have liked to see more Fenix in the match because Bandido was in there a lot and Fenix is my favorite guy on that team. Anyway, I think it was a quality matchup to put over the BCC guys continuing their positive momentum. Yuta got the win here just like he did over Omega at Double or Nothing with Bryan on commentary putting that over in a big way. I like that a lot. It makes the wins feel more important.

The Elite’s Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and “Hangman” Adam Page were interviewed by Alex Marvez. Matt was selling the foot injury after using an explosive shoe for a superkick. Nick said that they are the heart, soul and spirit of this place. Hangman said they are still standing and still swinging. The Dark Order’s Evil Uno, John Silver and Alex Reynolds walked up to them. They mentioned that Hangman was with his best friends, so they left. Marvez said that Kenny Omega has left the country and went back to Canada. Page said Omega is hurt, pissed off and said he’s not in Canada. Hangman left.

Analysis: Good to see the Dark Order guys there because when Hangman had issues with The Elite, it was the Dark Order that was there for Hangman. It’s understandable that the Dark Order are mad about Hangman not being with them now. I assume that Kenny leaving the country, but not going to Canada is supposed to tease the idea that Kenny went to Japan to recruit Kota Ibushi to come fight with The Elite.


Let’s Hear from Bullet Club Gold

Jay White and Juice Robinson were interviewed in the ring by Tony Schiavone, who mentioned their issue with Ricky Starks was never ending. White said that Starks thinks he’s on top of the world after eliminating Juice & White and that he eliminated Juice & White from the battle royale. White said that Starks lost that battle royale like he lost to White.

Juice said that brings them to FTR. Juice wants to know why Dax & Cash came to the aid of “Sweet Boy” Ricky. Juice said that Ricky Starks ain’t got no friends. White said that FTR are southern boys that are a little bit slow and they look pretty dumb too.

FTR’s Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler entered with their AEW Tag Team Titles. They got into the ring. Juice said that FTR aren’t dumb. Juice said they are there to say sorry. White thinks that FTR wants to join Bullet Club Gold.

White dropped the microphone instead of handing it to Dax. Juice punched Dax in the jaw and Cash went after both guys, but he was outnumbered. Juice gave Dax a DDT as we saw some quarters in the ring because Juice had a loaded fist. White hit the Bladerunner on Cash. Ricky Starks ran out for the save, he did a promo and challenged White for a match next week on Dynamite. Ricky’s music played to end it.

Analysis: That’s a new rivalry even though I don’t remember White & Juice winning a tag team match to earn a title shot. It’s weird because AEW has so many tag teams in the company, yet they really aren’t elevating any of them at the moment. Juice & Jay are a good alliance for sure, but they aren’t a full-time tag team. It was effective in terms of getting heel heat, so it worked in that sense.

The AEW CEO, President & General Manager Tony Khan had a major announcement in a taped promo where he begins as usual: “Thanks, guys.” Tony spoke about how AEW Collision debuts on Saturday, June 17th on TNT from the United Center in Chicago. Tony said he had more information saying that Collision will feature…CM Punk. That was it. They showed the crowd’s reaction with cheers and maybe some boos in there. The announcers acted shocked about it as if they didn’t know.

Analysis: It has finally been announced. They planned on announcing CM Punk’s return two weeks ago with the original Collision announcement, but there were still issues so now we get it two weeks later. I really like CM Punk as a performer and I’m glad he is back because I know he loves pro wrestling. I just think as a 44-year-old millionaire, he needs to learn not to hold grudges and maybe don’t air those grudges publicly while learning to move on from things. I just think he holds onto grudges way too much. You can’t be acting like an emo teen your whole life. You need to mature and move on sometimes. I think creating a whole show and splitting the roster because people don’t like Punk is a strange situation, but that’s pro wrestling. It’s unlike anything else.

Trent Beretta vs. Swerve Strickland vs. Big Bill

Swerve bailed to the floor, Trent ran the ropes and hit a suicide dive onto Swerve. Trent with some chops to Bill and Bill choked Trent while kicking Swerve. Bill hit running corner splashes on both guys. Bill launched Trent into the air for a slam onto the mat followed by Bill hitting a boot to the face.


Trent and Swerve were battling on the apron, Bill was back in the ring and he kicked Swerve off the apron to the floor because Trent pulled Swerve in the way. Trent kicked Bill off the apron to the floor. Trent hit a moonsault off the middle rope onto Bill on the floor. Swerve with a running kick on Trent. Swerve went up top, Bill chopped him and Trent joined the other two guys for a combo spot. Trent and Swerve hit a double superplex on Bill leading to cheers. Trent hit a half-n-half suplex on Swerve. Bill hit Trent with a Bossman Slam but Swerve broke that pin up with a kick. Swerve with a flatliner on Trent. Trent hit a running knee on Swerve followed by a piledriver for two as Bill broke up the pin. Bill gave Trent a Chokeslam from the apron into the ring. Swerve did a Swerve Stomp to Bill on the apron. Swerve went into the ring and did a crucifix pin on Trent for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Swerve Strickland

Analysis: **3/4 It started slow but ended up as a slightly better than average match by the end. Swerve is a singles guy that gets a mild push sometimes, Big Bill never gets used that well and Trent is a tag team guy, so you knew Trent was going to take the pin here. The double superplex spot was really good, so it was smart to do it near the end of the match and pop the crowd like that.

A video aired about Kris Statlander returning at Double or Nothing to challenge Jade Cargill for the TBS Title. Statlander won the title in one minute. Kris was shown talking about her title win saying it felt nice to hold that title and feel like you deserve something.

The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) along with “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn were interviewed on the stage by Renee Paquette. Gunn said that anybody can get beat at any time. Gunn felt bad about letting them down. Caster claimed that it wasn’t Billy’s fault and together they are The Acclaimed, the people’s choice. Bowens said that they were screwed out of tag team gold. Bowens said that Billy Gunn after over 30 years in this business, this man deserves to hold gold one more time. The fans cheered. Bowens said they love Billy and everyone loves The Acclaimed.

Analysis: It sounds like The Acclaimed are still focused on winning the Trios Tag Team Titles after losing the match for those titles at Double or Nothing. House of Black are booked strongly as the champions, so we’ll see how that goes.

Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita were up next.


Let’s Hear from Don Callis & Konosuke Takeshita

Don Callis & Konosuke Takeshita made their entrance for an in-ring interview with Tony Schiavone. There was no theme music for them as the fans booed them loudly. Excalibur mentioned that The Elite left the arena and they mentioned Hangman leaving the country, but not to Canada.

When Callis was about to speak, the fans booed him loudly. Callis said he hopes those boos are for Kenny Omega, he’s the victim here and Callis has done everything for Omega. Callis claimed that Omega’s title wins are because of him. The crowd kept booing loudly while Callis tried to speak. Callis blamed Omega for the 23 stitches he received for the scar in his head. Callis claimed that maybe he lost a nephew like Omega, but he gained a son like Takeshita.

Callis called Takeshita the best athlete he’s ever seen in wrestling at 6’3” and 240 pounds. Callis said Takeshita was better than all the Japanese legends and even said he’s better than Okada. Callis said Takeshita is better than Kenny Omega too. Takeshita did a promo in Japanese so the fans kept booing him. Takeshita said that they will destroy The Elite and Kenny Omega. Callis said his new family is going to cut The Elite out of All Elite Wrestling. That was it as the crowd continued to boo.

Analysis: That was a lot of booing for Callis. A heel like him loves to hear it because it means the story is working and it clearly is. The booing continued throughout the promo by Callis.

There was a promo from the TNT Champion Wardlow with Arn Anderson talking about Wardlow’s Ladder Match win over Christian Cage. Wardlow said if Luchasaurus wants to be next in line then he’d be happy to finish the job.

Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin vs. Gates of Agony – Kaun & Toa Liona

Gates of Agony were ROH 6-Man Tag Team Champions with Brian Cage. The heels had the advantage early with Toa giving Orange an overhead suplex. Allin tagged in leading to Toa running him over with a running elbow smash. Allin went for a springboard attack, but Toa hit him with a Pounce. Kaun hit double knees to Orange. The trio of Swerve, Brian Cage and Prince Nana watched from the top of the ramp since Gates of Agony are their allies. Toa sent Allin into the turnbuckle followed by a running splash in the corner. Allin with a necksnap across the top rope on Allin, so Kaun sent Allin into the barricade and apron a bunch of times. Toa ran over Orange with a shoulder tackle on the floor.


The match continued with the GOA guys in control of Allin. Liona hit a uranage slam on Allin. Both GOA guys were in the ring for about a minute because it’s AEW, so Allin fought his way free and brought in Orange. Orange did one of his pocket dropkicks and a DDT on Kaun got a two count. Liona illegally went into the ring with a Samoan Drop followed by Gates doing a double strike to Orange’s chest/back for a two count because Allin made the save. Orange hit a double hurricanrana (I guess) to break free. Allin tagged in with running splashes, he sent Toa into the turnbuckle and Orange hit an Orange Punch on Toa. Allin hit a cannonball on Toa on the floor. Orange hit Stundog Millionaire on Kaun and Allin hit Code Red on Kaun. Allin to the top and he hit the Coffin Drop on Kaun for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Orange Cassidy & Darby Allin

Analysis: **3/4 It was okay. This was more of a traditional tag team match with Allin as the face-in-peril for most of the match instead of a chaotic AEW tag where random people are in the ring at all times. There was a long period where both Gates guys were in the ring for a long time. Darby and Orange are two of the most pushed guys in AEW while Gates of Agony rarely wrestle on AEW TV. It made sense to do the match since Swerve is targeting Cassidy these days, but the result of the match was never in doubt.

After the match, the trio of Swerve, Brian Cage and Prince Nana went down to the ring. Before they could do anything, it’s Sting. The old guy Sting slowly walked down to the ring with a baseball bat in hand. The heels left the ring, so Sting stood in the ring beside Allin and Cassidy. The fans popped for Sting.

Analysis: This could set up a six-man tag team match or Sting teaming up with Allin again. Sting has only wrestled one match for AEW this year.

They showed a promo from Maxwell Jacob Friedman after his AEW World Title win at Double or Nothing. MJF trashed Darby Allin for losing to a headlock takeover. MJF said that you are running out people that can claim they are better than Max and you know it. MJF said that “nobody is on the level of The Devil.”

Analysis: Good promo from Max as usual. The next PPV is Forbidden Door later this month, but no guarantee that MJF is going to defend the AEW World Title at that show. After that, they have All In in England. I feel like maybe Adam Cole will get an AEW World Title push, but there should be some other options too.


Let’s Hear from Hook…Sort Of

Tony Schiavone was in the ring for something and the FTW Champion Hook made his entrance. Tony mentioned Hook helped the Hardys in a big win at Double or Nothing on the pre-show. I didn’t watch that match.

The trio of Dralistico, Preston Vance and Jose The Assistant interrupted before Hook could say anything. Jose said that Rush isn’t on television right now because he’s too dangerous. Sure. Jose said they don’t get opportunities so they will take this opportunity. Dralistico and Vance went into the ring to beat up Hook with punches. Jack Perry ran out with a steel chair and hit the dumb heels with chair shots. Jose went into the ring, Hook caught him and hit an arm capture suplex on Jose. Jack and Hook touched fists for this JungleHook reunion.

Analysis: It was quick. I can’t say I’m really that invested in this storyline, but Hook is a popular guy and having Jack Perry save him was the right call for this kind of segment. I’m not sure if I know the last time Dralistico and Vance won a match on Dynamite, so it’s hard to be that invested in it.

Toni Storm, the AEW Women’s Champion, was interviewed with Saraya & Ruby Soho with Renee Paquette doing the interview. Toni said she’s having a great time surrounded by the world’s best friends. Toni said there is nobody good enough to carry her bags in AEW. Ruby said that Toni is gracing AEW fans with her presence at AEW House Rules shows. Toni said the only lucky people here are the AEW fans.

Analysis: The usual cocky heel promo. Saraya didn’t say much even though she’s in the main event of this show.

TBS Championship: Kris Statlander vs. Nyla Rose

This is Statlander’s first TBS Title defense. Rose is a former AEW Women’s Champion that rarely gets to wrestle on Dynamite. Rose hit a body slam, but Kris avoided a senton splash. They battled over a suplex spot. Taya Valkyrie was shown watching the match on a TV as Rose suplexed Kris into the turnbuckle.


Rose was in control with a clothesline. Kris avoided a splash attempt, Kris with several clotheslines and a corner splash. Kris hit a running knee and a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Kris went up top, Rose tripped her up and Rose hit a corner splash. They left the ring with Rose hitting a cannonball on Kris against the barricade. Back in the ring, Rose hit a Chokeslam for two that barely got a reaction because the crowd knew it wasn’t done. Kris hit a jawbreaker and went up top with a 450 Splash for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Kris Statlander

Analysis: **1/2 A competitive match to put over the new champion Kris. Even though Rose is barely used on AEW TV, she has credibility as a former champion and as a power wrestler. More selling would have been nice because moments after Kris took a Chokeslam, she hit a jawbreaker and 450 Splash to win, so it makes the Chokeslam look like it was nothing.

Kris Statlander celebrated with the TBS Title. They showed Taya Valkyrie watching the match and had a look of anger/frustration on her face. Maybe they’ll turn her heel going after Kris and that title. I don’t know.

Analysis: I’m happy for Kris. The best thing that Kris did in her career was dumping the stupid alien gimmick that she had early in her AEW career. They never should have brought that to television because it held her back. Now she’s a more serious character that is a believable champion.

There was a rundown of AEW Rampage. I stopped watching it. They had all title matches.

Next week on AEW Dynamite:

* Ricky Starks vs. Jay White

* International Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. Swerve Strickland

The main event mixed tag team match was next.


It was main event mixed tag team match time with the boyfriend-girlfriend couple of Adam Cole and Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. entering first. Saraya was next for the heel team followed by Chris Jericho, who has a 25-7-1 singles record on Dynamite. It feels like he has wrestled more matches on Dynamite, but I guess not.

Chris Jericho & Saraya vs. Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.

The males compete with the males and females compete with the females. Cole and Jericho had a chop fest early. Jericho did an eye poke and dumped Cole out of the ring. Jericho sent Cole into the barricade. Back in the ring, Cole hit a clothesline leading to Saraya tagging in so Britt was legal. Baker with forearms, then a Slingblade neckbreaker and an overhead slam. Baker did a lifting slam. When Baker ran the ropes, Jericho tripped up Baker and Saraya took over.


The match returned with Toni Storm & Ruby Soho at ringside stomping on Baker while Jericho was distracting the referee. Hikaru Shida showed up with the kendo stick and she hit Storm & Ruby with the kendo stick to make the heels run away. Jericho went into the ring to get in Baker’s face, then Baker broke free to bring in Cole, so Jericho was legal. Cole delivered a pump kick on Jericho. Cole hit a jumping enziguri kick on Jericho, then Jericho avoided a dropkick and Jericho hit a Lionsault. Saraya got the tag, so Baker was legal with two lariats along with a neckbreaker. Saraya sent Baker into the turnbuckle, Saraya with a forearm and Britt shoved Saraya down from the turnbuckle. Jericho covered Saraya to try to block a move, but Baker hit an awkward splash on Jericho, so Baker got a two count on Saraya. Cole tagged in, he hit a backstabber on Jericho and Cole wanted Panama Sunrise, but Jericho avoided that. Saraya punched Baker off the apron to the floor. Jericho applied the Liontamer (more of a Boston Crab) and Cole got to the bottom rope to break it. While Jericho held onto the hold, Britt Baker put her fingers in Jericho’s mouth and Jericho had to sell it, which looked ridiculous. Baker applied her Lockjaw submission on Jericho, which also looked silly and Saraya broke it up. Cole charged with a superkick, but Jericho hit a Codebreaker for two. Cole and Jericho exchanged some strikes, then they ran the ropes and did a double clothesline. Saraya tagged in against Britt with some awkward forearms. Saraya planted Baker with a cradle DDT with the referee checking on Baker because it looked rough. Jericho grabbed his bat, charged at Baker even though he was never going to hit her (obviously) and Cole superkicked Jericho. Baker kicked Saraya out of the ring. Cole and Baker hit double superkicks on Jericho. Cole tagged in with the Boom running knee to the back of the head for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.

Analysis: *** It was good by the end, but not that interesting early on. God enough by the end to make it three stars. I wasn’t that impressed with the Jericho-Cole match at Double or Nothing and it was never that exciting here. I get why Jericho lost because it was revenge for Cole/Baker after what Jericho/Saraya did to them several weeks ago. Jericho selling for Baker is nice of him to do, but I don’t think it looked that great.

Adam Cole and Britt Baker celebrated the win. End show.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Blackpool Combat Club – Jon Moxley, Wheeler Yuta & Claudio Castagnoli
  2. Darby Allin & Orange Cassidy
  3. Don Callis & Konosuke Takeshita


The Scoreboard

This Week: 7 out of 10

Last Week: 7.25

2023 Average: 7.48


Final Thoughts

I think it was a solid show for the most part although nothing that really blew me away in terms of being great. The opening six man tag team match was the best match because the Blackpool Combat Club is great, but it wasn’t that dramatic since you know they had no chance of losing that match. Adam Cole & Britt Baker got revenge against Chris Jericho & Saraya in the main event. The match wasn’t that interesting to me.

There was a lot of heat for Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita during their promo after Takeshita’s heel turn at Double or Nothing. The fans were booing during the entire promo. It’s nice to see crowd reactions like that. No Kenny Omega on the show, but Hangman Page saying Kenny was out of the US, but not in Canada does tease that Omega might be getting Kota Ibushi to come to AEW for this storyline.

They followed up on Double or Nothing fairly well while doing nothing to set up Forbidden Door, which is less than a month away.


Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport