The John Report: AEW Dynamite 06/14/23 Review

aew dynamite june 14

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured MJF facing Adam Cole while the Blackpool Combat Club faced The Elite in a huge six-man tag team match.

It’s the week when AEW adds a third weekly TV show. Dynamite is on Wednesday, Rampage is on Friday and the new two-hour show Collision debuts on Saturday. I think for now I’ll probably review Collision this weekend, but I don’t know when I’ll have time to do it. I have to rely on TSN + here in Canada (Dynamite is on TSN2, which is a TV channel) and it’s not that reliable. I quit reviewing Rampage. I may do a shortened review for Collision. Long term, I don’t know. Saturday and Sunday are writing days for me. I’m not sitting around doing nothing like some people on weekends. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes when it debuts.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #193 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. 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.

Adam Cole was up first because it’s all about the boom. Cole has an 8-0 Dynamite singles record. The AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) entered for a rare TV match. MJF has a 3-0 singles record in 2023. That means this is his fourth singles match in the first six months of this year.

AEW World Championship Eliminator Match: Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Adam Cole

An eliminator match means that it’s a non-title match where Cole gets an AEW World Title match against MJF if Cole wins this match. MJF has an elbow pad that says “Vince Was Right” on it.

MJF was in a taunting mood early with a strut along with a hip swivel. Cole wanted a superkick, MJF avoided it and Cole did his “Adam Cole bay bay” taunt. MJF went over the barricade into the crowd and threw the popcorn down from some fan. MJF argued with a fan in the crowd and knocked the fan’s hat off. If the referee was counting then MJF would have been counted out, but it’s AEW so there was no count. The fans chanted “Asshole” at MJF. After about four minutes of barely doing anything in the match, they battled in the corner with Cole doing ten punches. Cole gave MJF a back body drop over the top to the floor with MJF landing on his feet. MJF caught Cole in the ring apron and slammed Cole’s left arm against the steel steps. MJF stomped on Cole’s left hand as well. MJF grabbed a headlock, Cole broke free and MJF did a hair pull takedown. MJF grabbed a wrist lock, Cole broke free and MJF did an arm wringer driving Cole into the mat. MJF hit a sitout pumphandle slam for two. MJF did a Shawn Michaels-flex pose to taunt the crowd. MJF set up for a superkick like Shawn and charged right into a superkick by Cole. MJF was bleeding by the mouth after that kick. I think MJF put something in the apron after. Cole hit a kick to the head along with a backstabber for a two count. Cole tried Panama Sunrise off the ropes, but MJF blocked it and MJF wrenched on the arm by the rope. Cole blocked a Heatseeker DDT, MJF ducked the Boom knee and MJF hit a shoulder breaker. Cole came back with a suplex onto the knee for a two count. Cole delivered another move where he slammed MJF’s back onto Cole’s left knee. Cole was grabbing his left and his left arm. They battled on the apron with Cole using his knees to get out of a move. Cole teased a move off the turnbuckle, but MJF caught him and MJF hit a Tombstone on the apron. That was very safe by MJF taking the whole bump on his knees. They went to a picture-in-picture break.


MJF was in control of the action as he spit on Cole’s back. They exchanged strikes, MJF with an eye gouge, Cole with a pump kick and MJF hit an elbow strike. Cole came back with about four kicks to different parts of the body and then he ran off the ropes leading to MJF hitting a clothesline as both guys decided to sell by laying down on the mat. MJF got a two count, but Cole turned it into an armbar. MJF went for a submission on the arm, Cole got out of that and Cole applied a weak-looking Ankle Lock. Please study some Kurt Angle tapes. MJF got a takedown leading on a submission on the left arm/head of Cole, who managed to get to the bottom rope. MJF hit a Heatseeker DDT off the ropes for a two count. The referee Bryce Remsburg was checking on Cole a lot. MJF took a lot of time to leave the ring and cleared off the timekeeper’s table while the referee kept checking on Cole. MJF put Cole onto the timekeeper’s table, MJF went up top and MJF delivered an elbow drop to put Cole through a table. A table bump in a match doesn’t lead to a DQ in AEW. I’m not saying it should. I’m just saying we know that from past instances. The referee Remsburg was talking to both guys and then he finally went into the ring to count Cole out while MJF was down in the ring. Cole got back into the ring before the ten count. It was a very slow count. The announcers are shocked by it while nobody at home is shocked by it. You could tell MJF was talking to the referee Remsburg again. Cole kicked MJF while he was on the apron and Cole hit a straight jacket German Suplex (trapping the arms leading to a suplex).

Cole teased a Panama Sunrise move off the middle turnbuckle, but MJF backed away. MJF kicked the ribs and hit a double foot stomp to the back. MJF argued with referee Remsburg about a count earlier in the match. Cole rolled up MJF, who kicked out and Cole bumped into Remsburg to knock the referee down. MJF brought the AEW World Title into the ring while the referee was down and MJF tossed the title to Cole, but Remsburg was still down. Tony Schiavone was shouting for Cole to hit MJF in the head. The fans chanted “you f**ked up” to MJF because the referee never saw Cole with the title. Cole hit MJF with the AEW World Title. Cole hit the Boom knee to the back of the head for the one…two…and no because MJF got his right shoulder up. That was an incredible nearfall right there. Cole set MJF up for the Boom knee again, but MJF fell forward onto the mat. MJF grabbed Remsburg’s head to obscure his vision and MJF hit a low blow back kick to Cole’s groin. MJF put the Dynamite Diamond Ring on his right hand while Remsburg was talking to Cole. MJF charged with the punch using the ring, but the referee stopped it. Cole hit a superkick along with a Panama Sunrise. Cole hit the Boom knee for the pinfall win…and the bell rang as the referee counted to two…when the bell rang. The announcers told us to look at the clock because it was at the 30-minute time limit. It was announced as a 30-minute draw by Justin Roberts.

Match Result: 30-Minute Draw

Analysis: ****1/2 That was an incredible match. Some of the stuff at the end drops it down from reaching five stars because of all the referee bumping and it looked a bit ridiculous the way it was being sold, but the work in the match was terrific. The time limit finish came out of nowhere in the sense that the announcers didn’t mention the 30-minute time limit towards the end of the match, so when the bell rang it was a sudden thing. If we paid attention to the introduction of the match then we would have heard the 30-minute time limit announced, but it was not pushed by the announcers at all. Anyway, I liked the story of the match a lot with so many nearfalls for both guys. They worked really well together. MJF tried to use the belt to fake a title shot, but that backfired because Cole did hit him with the title. MJF also tried to use the Dynamite Diamond Ring and that failed for him because the referee Remsburg stopped Max from doing the punch. The ending might frustrate some fans, but the key thing is that since there was no winner, AEW can certainly go back to this as an AEW World Title match, but there are obviously a lot of things they can do.

Adam Cole got the microphone: “Five more minutes.” The fans cheered. MJF backed out of the ring and left with the AEW World Title while Taz correctly said that the champion didn’t have to give Cole five more minutes.

Analysis: It feels like AEW is going to do a slow burn to get to the title match. Maybe Cole has to beat other people to earn an AEW World Title shot at MJF. I don’t know if MJF-Cole will be the AEW World Title match at the All In event in England on August 27th, but it certainly could be.


There was a video about CM Punk. Punk said he’s coming back because he has scores to settle and there are still things to do. Collision said that he won’t know what he will do or say until he has that microphone in his hand. Punk said he has a lot of things to get off his chest. That’s it.

On the debut episode of AEW Collision this Saturday in Chicago, CM Punk teams up with FTR against Jay White, Juice Robinson & Samoa Joe.

Analysis: It’s smart to tease CM Punk delivering a promo on Collision. For the six-man tag team match, Punk will probably get the win and Juice Robinson will likely be the one to take the pinfall. The Punk-Joe interactions should be good considering their long history going back 20 years.

Let’s Hear from Sammy Guevara

Sammy Guevara was introduced by Renee Paquette for an in-ring interview. Sammy and his wife Tay Melo recently announced they are having a baby daughter later this year. Sammy mentioned the highest of highs with the news that his wife is having a girl. Sammy talked about the lowest of lows about nearly becoming the AEW World Champion. Sammy said that he wants to be the AEW World Champion with his daughter in one arm and the AEW World Title in the other arm. Sammy said for that to happen, he might have to make some changes. Darby Allin interrupted it as Renee left the ring.

Darby Allin congratulated Sammy on the baby girl and he said he means that. Allin said that at Double or Nothing, he admits he lost that match. Allin said that it sounds like the people are starting to love Sammy again, which led to cheers. Allin asked Sammy if he’s going to stand on his own two feet or stand in the shadows of the Jericho Appreciation Society. Allin said that Sting and himself are equals. Allin told Sammy he didn’t have to answer him right now, but Darby knows the answer.

Chris Jericho made his entrance with Floyd the bat while the fans sang the “Judas” song for Jericho as usual. Jericho told them to shut the music off before he got into the ring. Jericho told Allin to shut up and mind his own business.

Jericho spoke to Sammy in the ring. Jericho said that while Sammy was chasing MJF for the AEW World Title, Sammy never called Jericho once and he never asked for help. Jericho told Sammy if he asked for help then Sammy would be the AEW World Champion. Sammy said if Jericho called Sammy then maybe Jericho wouldn’t have lost to Adam Cole…twice. Ouch. Jericho told Sammy to apologize to him right now. Sammy said he’s not apologizing for shit. Jericho told Sammy that maybe they should reunite as a tag team next week so Sammy can remember who the boss is. Allin told ‘The Wizard” Jericho that when he steps into the ring, the magic is gone. Jericho said maybe Sammy and Jericho should beat up Allin right now 2 on 1. Allin said: “I’m not really alone.”

Sting made his entrance as Tony Schiavone screamed “it’s Sting” as usual. Sting slowly walked out to the ring with a bat in his hand. Sting faced off with Jericho in the ring as the announcers mentioned it was their first time facing off together.

Jericho and Sting had a staredown. Jericho put the bat against Sting’s throat, then Sting took it away and Sting put the bat against Jericho’s throat. Jericho backed out, then Sting knocked the bat down and Jericho left. Sammy slowly left on the other side of the ring.

Analysis: I think turning Sammy Guevara babyface, which is obvious now, is a good move. Sammy wrestles an exciting style and after being a heel for most of the last four years, the fans are going to want to cheer for the guy. There’s also obviously a big feud he can have with Chris Jericho. I’m sure Jericho will be happy to put him over too, but we know with Jericho it’s not going to be a short term thing and it’s going to have a long build to it. As for the Jericho-Sting, that was cool. Sting hasn’t had a singles match in AEW and I’m not sure if he wants to have a singles match, so maybe they can have a showdown in a tag team match. It did feel like a big deal and the fans responded to it well.


There was a video featuring IWGP World Champion SANADA. He spoke in Japanese while the translation appeared at the bottom of the screen. SANADA issued an open challenge for the IWGP World Championship at Forbidden Door on June 25th.

Sting, Darby Allin, Keith Lee (w/Dustin Rhodes) & Orange Cassidy vs. Mogul Embassy – Swerve Strickland, Brian Cage, Kaun & Toa Liona (w/Prince Nana)

At the start of the match, they were all brawling around the ring and then the word “NO” appeared on screen for about four seconds as Brian Cage was giving Orange Cassidy a bearhug. Apparently, it wasn’t some accident, so it’s the start of some storyline. I don’t know what it means. Sting and Allin each hit running splashes on Swerve, then Allin with a back splash and Sting hit a Stinger Splash again. Allin hit another running back splash. Cage tripped up Sting and sent him into the steel steps. Allin hit a Code Red on Swerve as the show went to a picture-in-picture break.


The heel side was in control against Allin, who was launched into a Powerbomb by Cage. Swerve went into the ring with a running kick even though he wasn’t legal and Cassidy broke up Cage’s pin attempt on Allin. Swerve grabbed an armbar, Allin fought back with punches and Allin countered a Swerve move into a pin attempt. Allin hit a flipping Stunner on Swerve. Lee tagged in with shoulder tackles on three of the Embassy guys. Lee landed on his feet (sort of) after a monkey flip and Lee hit Cage with an elbow strike. Lee splashed Swerve against the turnbuckle. The Embassy trio had four guys in the ring and Swerve did a Swerve Stomp while Cage did a Powerbomb and Allin broke up the pin attempt. Orange hit a boot to the face on Swerve followed by a DDT. Cage caught Orange and hit a spinning slam. Kaun slammed Allin with a spinebuster, then Liona tried a spot with Sting, who was backpedaling into the ropes. That looked awkward as Lion splashed Sting. Lee cleared the ring including a spinebuster while Sting stumbled back to his corner as if he wasn’t just beaten up. Allin hit a Coffin Drop on the guys on the floor. Sting made the tag and clotheslined Cage. After Cage picked up Sting, Orange punched Cage with an Orange Punch leading to Sting hitting a Scorpion Death Drop. Sting pinned Cage for the win. It went about nine minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sting, Darby Allin, Keith Lee & Orange Cassidy

Analysis: *** It was pure chaos. There were good spots and enough action that I’m going to say I liked it, but I wouldn’t call it a great match. The amount of guys into the ring illegally was off the charts in this match. I know the announcers don’t seem to care and the referee looks inept, but it just looks so silly. There’s no psychology at all and it’s just random moves without much substance. That Sting spot with Liona looked bad, then Sting just got back like it was nothing and easily put Cage away. Sting wins every match he has, so of course it was an easy win for him.

The Gunns were interviewed by Renee Paquette, who wondered if they are aligned with Bullet Club Gold. They didn’t answer it. The Gunns mentioned that they were the best brother team in AEW and called out Matt & Jeff Hardy for a match next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite.

TNT Championship: Wardlow (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Jake Hager.

Hager attacked Wardlow from behind during Wardlow’s entrance. They went into the ring with Hager getting some punches. Wardlow came back with clotheslines along with a German Suplex. Wardlow sent Hager out of the ring. Wardlow ran over Hager with a clothesline on the floor. They went to a PIP break.


Hager had Wardlow in an Ankle Lock, Wardlow easily kicked out of that and Wardlow hit a spinebuster. Matt Menard and Angelo Parker showed up at ringside. Arn teased a fake gun, then Brock Anderson attacked them and Arn punched Menard too. Hager hit a lifting slam on Wardlow for two. Hager went for a move off the ropes, but Wardlow blocked it with his feet and clotheslined Hager out of the ring. Wardlow did a slingshot dive onto Hager on the floor. Back in the ring, Wardlow hit a Senton Bomb off the top rope. Wardlow hit a Powerbomb as the symphony continued with a second Powerbomb for the pinfall win after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Wardlow

Analysis: **1/2 An easy win for Wardlow with two Powerbombs to put away Hager. There wasn’t a moment in the match where it looked like Hager might win even though the announcers kept trying to put him over as a threat. Wardlow looked dominant as usual.

Post match, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus were shown on the screen. The audio didn’t work. Christian mentioned that Wardlow issued a challenge against Luchasaurus and Christian said they accept a match on Collision this Saturday. Christian teased that Wardlow’s “daddy” (Arn Anderson) won’t be able to help him. They showed Arn on steps nearby with a bloody head. Wardlow went running to the back.

Analysis: I think Luchasaurus could actually beat Wardlow for the TNT Title, but Wardlow continuing his reign makes sense too.

Hiroshi Tanahashi did a promo for Forbidden Door (he spoke in Japanese while the translation to English was on the screen) issuing a challenge against MJF for the AEW World Title.

MJF was shown getting looked at by a trainer with Renee Paquette saying it’s official that MJF has to face Tanahashi at Forbidden Door. MJF said he doesn’t want to face a guy from an indy fed in Japan. MJF said if Tony Khan books him for it then it won’t be the first time he no shows. MJF said that it’s not happening.

Analysis: A funny promo from MJF as usual by dismissing NJPW as an indy fed. It’s typical of MJF acting like Tanahashi is a nobody even though Tanahashi is one of the greatest NJPW stars ever.


Orange Cassidy, the International Champion, was interviewed by Renee Paquette. Orange said you know somebody is going to challenge him. Zack Sabre Jr. walked in with the NJPW TV Champion while mentioning Forbidden Door “next Sunday” (in two Sundays actually) and Daniel Garcia asked where Shibata was. Orange said Shibata is there next week, so they can face off in a tag team match next week.

AEW Women’s World Championship: Toni Storm (w/Ruby Soho) vs. Skye Blue

Blue earned this match by winning a four-way match on Rampage last week. Blue’s mom was at ringside, so Blue hugged her. Soho had a cutout on a stick with Saraya’s face on it because Saraya wasn’t there. Blue was aggressive to start the match. They did a spot early in the match where Storm mocked Blue’s mom at ringside and sprayed some of the spray paint toward Blue’s mom. They went to break about one minute into the match.


Blue delivered a flurry of fists, then a headscissors and a spinning kick to the head. Blue charged, but Storm caught her and sent Blue into the middle rope. Soho gave Storm some spray paint, Soho distracted the referee and Blue sprayed some blue spray paint into Storm’s face. Blue hit the Code Blue, but Soho distracted the referee so there was no count. Blue knocked Soho off the apron. Storm sent Blue into the top rope and Storm hit Storm Zero for two. Storm applied the Texas Cloverleaf submission leading to Blue tapping out. That was it after about seven minutes.

Winner by submission: Toni Storm

Analysis: **1/2 It was fast-paced action with Blue getting that nearfall with the Code Blue after the spray paint spot, but the heels were too smart for her and Storm found a way to win. I like seeing Blue getting more TV time because she’s a likable babyface that’s easy to root for.

After the match, Storm & Soho attacked Blue, so Willow Nightingale ran out there for the save as the heels retreated.

Analysis: This is the same booking they always do with The Outcasts cheating to win, then a post match attack and that led to a save after the match. They’re doing a tag team match on Collision on Saturday.

Jack Perry and FTW Champion Hook were interviewed by Renee Paquette with Jack saying it’s the summer of Jungle Hook. Perry said he’s accepting SANADA’s open challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Title. Jack told Hook he is his best friend and it would mean the world to him if Hook could be in his corner at Forbidden Door. Hook didn’t speak, but he touched fists with Jack to accept the offer.

Analysis: That should be a win for SANADA over Jack Perry at Forbidden Door. It’s not like the IWGP World Champion is going to come to Forbidden Door to lose the title. Jack should have a good match with him, of course.

Bryan Danielson made his entrance for commentary duty.

A quick video aired about the Bryan Danielson-Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega-Will Ospreay matches at Forbidden Door on June 25th.

There was a rundown of what’s coming up at Forbidden Door and Collision as well. Bullet Club Gold did a promo and so did FTR about their six-man tag team match on Collision. Excalibur plugged some more things happening on Collision. I don’t think they managed anything for Rampage on Friday.

It was main event time with the Blackpool Combat Club’s Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta entering from the back part of the arena. They went to a commercial.


The Elite’s “Hangman” Adam Page and Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) entered for the main event.

Blackpool Combat Club – Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. The Elite – “Hangman” Adam Page, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson

They started brawling to start the match. The Elite hit a triple superkick. All three of The Elite guys hit dives onto guys on the floor. Page hit a running Shooting Star Press off the apron onto Yuta on the floor. Moxley took control with some stomps on Matt. There was a tackle by Matt on Moxley. Nick tagged in with a cross body block off the top rope. Nick hit a facebuster on Moxley. Claudio hit legal man Nick with an uppercut. Page clotheslined Claudio on the floor. Moxley hit a suicide dive on Page on the floor. Matt jumped off the top with a cross body block onto Moxley & Claudio on the floor. Yuta with a German Suplex on Matt on the floor. Moxley was legal with Nick in the ring with Moxley hitting a lariat followed by a piledriver for two.


Moxley was legal against Nick, who tried to tag out. Why does it matter if you tag out if anybody can go in the ring at any time? Nick hit a dropkick leading to a tag for Page. Hangman hit a fallaway slam on Yuta and a dive onto Claudio on the floor. Page hit dives on Yuta and Claudio three times in a row. Back in the ring, Page hit a top rope clothesline. Page gave Yuta Buckle Bomb into the corner along with kicks by the Bucks. Matt did his triple Northern Lights Suplex spot and then he added Moxley to it. That always gets a pop. Nick tagged in with a double foot stomp, Moxley with a Cutter and more moves as all the guys in the match hit moves and bumped to the floor. Yuta hit a bridging German Suplex on Matt for two. Bryan was shouting about all of the BCC guys are at their best. Mox tagged in to send Page into the steel steps. Claudio into the ring illegally for a Doomsday Device clothesline by the BCC on Matt for two. Moxley trapped Matt in a rear naked choke, Claudio elbowed Page repeatedly and Nick hit a Swanton Bomb on Moxley to save his brother. Claudio tagged in, he caught a superkick attempt by Matt and hit a Chokeslam. Yuta tagged in with a splash off the top, but Matt got the knees up. Young Bucks hit double superkicks on all three opponents. Page tagged in for a stiff Powerbomb, Bucks hit BTE Trigger and Page hit a Buckshot Lariat (while Young Bucks hit dives) on Yuta for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Elite – “Hangman” Adam Page, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson

Analysis: ***1/2 It was yet another fast paced and chaotic match on this show that was full of them. It’s rare to see the BCC lose clean, so that was a bit surprising by the end. Yuta has picked up some big wins of late, which made me think that would continue. Instead, Hangman beat Yuta to win this match. Just like any Young Bucks match, there were a lot of random double team spots even though people weren’t legal in the match because that’s the Young Bucks style that everybody else must adapt to. I guess The Elite needed the win here since the BCC guys won at Double or Nothing. The most surprising thing about this whole thing is that they had a twelve-minute match and Jon Moxley didn’t bleed during it. That is so rare.

There were about five minutes left in the show. Claudio and Moxley attacked Page and Nick after the match. Moxley tossed Nick over the barricade at ringside. Eddie Kingston made his return wearing a “Lois Rules” shirt that I think is from Tony Schiavone’s podcast in reference to Tony’s wife. Eddie hit a back fist on Yuta and a back fist to Claudio too. Eddie clotheslined Claudio out of the ring. Moxley confronted his good friend Kingston and Matt attacked Moxley from behind. Kingston pulled Matt off Moxley, then Moxley was back up and Moxley got in Eddie’s face.

Konosuke Takeshita ran into the ring with a forearm on Eddie to the back. Takeshita hit Nick with a forearm to the jaw. The fans were booing Takeshita, who was alone in the ring.

Kenny Omega ran down to the ring to a huge pop. Omega brawled with Takeshita with Omega hit ting a knee, the Young Bucks hit superkicks on Takeshita and Omega hit a Snapdragon suplex. Nick and Hangman hit superkicks on Yuta and Claudio. The Bucks and Hangman each hit dives on BCC guys on the floor. Omega did his pose in the ring, then he looked to his left to basically tell us somebody was coming and Omega hit a running knee on Takeshita. At that point, Will Ospreay was in the ring with his Forbidden Door opponent Omega.

Will Ospreay superkicked Omega. That drew a big reaction. Ospreay hit a running elbow smash to knock Omega down. Bryan Danielson he thinks that is the winner of the match between Ospreay and Omega. Ospreay hit a Stormbreaker on Omega to end it. Danielson said this guy deserves a round of applause. Ospreay sat on the turnbuckle while Omega was down in the ring. Excalibur screamed about things that were coming up. Ospreay hit another running elbow (Hidden Blade) on Omega to end it. End show.

Analysis: That was an exciting ending to the show due to Kingston, Takeshita, Omega and Ospreay getting involved. It’s a lot going on very quickly, so it’s difficult really digest it all as it’s happening, but I did like it. That kind of finish isn’t something you should do every week. However, it is great to do sometimes and I liked it a lot here.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. MJF
  2. Adam Cole
  3. The Elite/Blackpool Combat Club


The Scoreboard

This Week: 8.25 out of 10

Last Week: 7.25

2023 Average: 7.47


Final Thoughts

That was a great show for most of it. It was probably one of the best Dynamite episodes of the year. I think the MJF-Adam Cole match that went 30 minutes as a time limit draw was outstanding. They didn’t really focus on the time limit, so when the bell rang at the end it was like a surprising finish because it looked Cole had it won, but then the time limit expired. Rare to see finishes like that, but I thought it was booked well. That was one of the best Dynamite matches this year. They did a nice job of making it feel like a big deal and worked very well together.

The six-man tag team match and eight-man tag team match were the usual AEW tag team match chaos. They are good matches that I rated that way, but I think they could be structured better too. It’s weird watching these matches where they try to make the hot tag into a big deal, yet half the match is spent with random people in the ring ignoring any sense of rules or wrestling psychology. The action is good for the most part, but like in the Sting tag, it was sloppy toward the end of it. The Jericho-Sting face off in their segment was terrific. Turning Sammy Guevara babyface is the right move too because he’s been that heel character for a while. I think the fans will get behind him now.

I did enjoy the final five minutes after the 6-man tag with all the run-ins by Eddie Kingston, Konosuke Takeshita, Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay to end the show. That’s the kind of excitement that fans like to end it. It’s hard to book a show like Forbidden Door (taking place on June 25th) without the presence of the NJPW guys. Ospreay showing up to attack Omega helps that story for sure. Some of the others were just random promos and now we know it’s SANADA-Jack Perry in a match and MJF-Tanahashi even though MJF tried to refuse it. The match quality at Forbidden Door will be really high. They just need some more stories going into it.

The next AEW pay-per-view is AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door on Sunday, June 25th. Here’s what we know so far.

* AEW World Championship: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

* Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada

* IWGP US Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Will Ospreay

* IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: SANADA (c) vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry


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

John Canton


Twitter: @johnreport