This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a Ladder Match for the Tag Team Titles, Jericho vs. Ortiz in a Hair vs. Hair Match, plus Jon Moxley going face to face with Japanese wrestling legend Hiroshi Tanahashi and a whole lot more.
They are calling this a “Road Rager” episode, which means nothing but different colors this week I guess.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #141 at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri.
It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Jim Ross was on commentary with Excalibur and Tony Schiavone.
Chris Jericho had his Jericho Appreciation Society with him at ringside while Ortiz only had Eddie Kingston with him.
Hair vs. Hair Match: Chris Jericho vs. Ortiz
William Regal joined commentary for this match. It was fast-paced right away. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Ortiz got the knees up to block. They left the ring with Ortiz sending Jericho into the barricade. Ortiz punched Jericho ten times while in the barber’s chair at ringside and Jericho took a Flair flop bump on the floor. Back in the ring, Ortiz hit a dropkick for two. Jericho worked over Ortiz with chops in the corner. Jericho went for a hurricanrana off the top, but Ortiz managed to hit a powerbomb for two. Ortiz jumped off the top with a headbutt to the body for a two count. Jericho punched Ortiz going for a dive and Jericho hit a suplex on the floor. They went to a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Jericho was still in control with Ortiz hitting a clothesline. Ortiz was fired up with punches, then a charge and Jericho hit a boot to the face. Jericho up top for nothing because Ortiz was able to hit a Cutter off the ropes for a two count. Ortiz with a forearm to the back, then he wanted a suplex and Jericho wanted Walls of Jericho, but Ortiz countered for a cradle. Ortiz hit a DDT in the middle of the ring for a two count. Ortiz went for a springboard move off the ropes, Jericho moved and Jericho hit a Codebreaker for two. That used to be Jericho’s finisher, but it is not anymore. It’s still good for a nearfall spot. Ortiz got a backslide for two. Jericho countered a hurricanrana into the Walls of Jericho submission although it was not a high angle Walls of Jericho, so it was more like a Boston Crab. Angelo Parker grabbed Ortiz in the ring, so Santana and Wheeler Yuta went down to the ring to join the fight. There was chaos at ringside with a lot of people brawling. Kingston went into the ring and hit a spinning back first on Jericho. Ortiz covered Jericho for one…two…and no! I thought that was it. The crowd did too. What a great nearfall there. Hager on the apron, Kingston grabbed his foot and Fuego del Sol of all people hit Ortiz while holding a bat. Jericho covered Ortiz after the bat shot. It went 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with some interesting nearfalls towards the end of the match. I liked the spot with Kingston nearly helping Ortiz win, but in the end it was Jericho getting the assist for the win. I liked how it was booked. I thought Jericho would win.
After the match, we saw that it was Sammy Guevara, not Fuego del Sol. Sammy was back with Jericho again so he’s in the Jericho Appreciation Society as well most likely. The fans chanted “Sammy Sucks” at Guevara.
There was a barber in the ring with clippers in his hands. Ortiz cut the locks on his hair. Ortiz cut his own hair. Kingston said that Ortiz is a man of his word. Ortiz screamed “Blood & Guts” repeatedly to promote the Blood & Guts match in two weeks. Ortiz kept cutting his hair but he wasn’t bald yet. It might take a while.
Analysis: Good job with the Sammy reveal. Sammy is good friends with Fuego del Sol so it makes sense that he could get his outfit and then use it to his advantage.
A video aired about Wardlow’s issues with 20 Plaintiffs (security guards) suing him because of Smart Mark Sterling.
Wardlow made his entrance where they showed his entrance walking backstage to try to give him a Goldberg feel. Wardlow is 52-8 and the number two ranked wrestler in AEW right now.
Wardlow vs. 20 Plaintiffs (Security Staff)
Smart Mark Sterling was at ringside. There were 20 guys wearing “Staff” shirts. They did a comedy spot where a bunch of them attacked, but Wardlow knocked them all down. The guys in the staff shirts kept attacking one by one like idiots. Wardlow gave a guy a Powerbomb from inside the ring onto the guys on the floor. Wardlow with a clothesline into a pin and submission at the same time. Wardlow with a spinebuster on a couple of guys. Wardlow stacked four guys to pin them. Wardlow with a Powerbomb on four guys in a row, so Wardlow stacked three of them for more pinfalls. That’s 9 total. Wardlow with a clothesline, then a spinebuster, a Powerbomb and Wardlow stacked four guys for 13 total. Wardlow hit three more Powerbombs on three guys in a row and they kept running right into him one by one. One guy jumped off the top, Wardlow caught him and Powerbombed him on the others. I think Wardlow pinned seven guys or maybe I missed one at some point. I don’t think it matters. They announced that Wardlow had won by beating all 20 Plaintiffs. It went about four minutes.
Analysis: 1/2* It got boring pretty fast, but it was an easy way to get Wardlow cheered by the fans. It is so silly watching guys go one by one after him. They did do the comedy spot early where a bunch of them tried to go after Wardlow, so then Wardlow shoved them all away easily.
Wardlow grabbed Smart Mark Sterling and was going to beat him up. Dan Lambert and TNT Champion Scorpio Sky were in a skybox shouting about Wardlow has pissed off American Top Team. Former UFC Champions Matt Hughes and Tyrone Woodley were at ringside. Hughes has had health issues, so he wasn’t moving well. Dan Lambert wanted them to get in the ring to take out Wardlow. Instead, Wardlow said they are hard-working guys like him that shouldn’t take orders from Lambert. Woodley shoved Sterling towards Wardlow, so Wardlow hit Sterling with a Powerbomb to put an end to it.
Analysis: I guess this should lead to Wardlow going after the TNT Title held by Scorpio Sky and I would assume Wardlow ends up winning that title when he gets his first shot.
Dax Harwood made his entrance as one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions. Good pop for one half of FTR. Will Ospreay made his entrance for his first AEW singles match. Ospreay and Aussie Open lost to FTR and Trent Beretta on Rampage last week. The announcers called it a “dream match” many times. I like both guys, but every new match is not a dream match.
Dax Harwood vs. Will Ospreay
Ospreay hit a running hurricanrana to take down Harwood. Ospreay worked over Harwood with chops, then Harwood got some chops of his own and the last one was really hard with both guys selling it. Harwood with a suplex. Harwood with a back body drop across the ring sent Ospreay across the ring. The fans were chanting for both guys as Ospreay hit a jawbreaker to break free from a chinlock. Excalibur did his fast-talking routine to try to explain all the titles in New Japan and things like that. They battled on the apron with Harwood teasing a suplex, but Ospreay pulled on the apron to trip up Harwood’s leg against the apron. Ospreay hit a running dropkick that sent Harwood into the steel steps. That led to a break.
Harwood was in control with rolling German Suplexes for the Kurt Angle tribute spot with five of them. I could mention another wrestler’s name, but he’s not a guy to put over. Harwood to the apron, Ospreay moved across the ring and Harwood hit a release German Suplex. Harwood jumped off the top with a headbutt attempt, but Ospreay moved. Ospreay jumped off the top with a 450 Splash for a two count. Ospreay up top, Harwood with chops to the chest and they exchanged strikes again. Harwood went for a belly to back suplex off the top, Ospreay countered it for two and Harwood countered that for a two count of his own. Ospreay for a Powerbomb, then he went for another move, but Harwood countered into a pin attempt for two. Harwood went to the floor, so Ospreay jumped over the top with a cross body block on Harwood. Back in the ring, Ospreay jumped off the top with a forearm to the back for two. Ospreay with a back elbow, Harwood with a forearm to the back, Ospreay lands on his feet and hit an elbow to the face. Ospreay wanted the Ozcutter, but Harwood caught him and hit a slingshot Liger Bomb for a two count. What a great spot. The fans were screaming with “AEW” chants for them. They exchanged forearms, Harwood with an uppercut, Ospreay with a kick to the back that was barely sold and Harwood hit a clothesline with Ospreay doing a flip bump. Ospreay avoided a clothesline and hit a Liger Bomb of his own for a two count. Ospreay jumped off the ropes with an Ozcutter for a two count. Ospreay hit the running elbow to the back of the head for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Will Ospreay
Analysis: ****1/4 This was an awesome match. I’m not surprised by that because of the quality of the performers. Ospreay is truly one of the best in the world while Harwood continues to prove how talented he is any time he gets to have a singles match against a talented opponent. There were so many nearfalls here with a hot crowd that was really into it. I think Ospreay winning was the right move since he’s the guy that’s from NJPW and you need to build up their guys a bit so some AEW wrestlers need to lose in order to build up Forbidden Door more.
After the match, Ospreay was joined in the ring by his United Empire buddies. Cash Wheeler went into the ring along with Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero, so there was a big brawl in the ring. Orange Cassidy’s music hit as the man in the jean jacket made a slow walk down to the ring. The fans popped big for Cassidy, who has been out with an injury, but I think he’s back now. The fans chanted “Freshly Squeezed” for Cassidy, who faced off with Ospreay in the ring. It was nice of all the other guys to stop fighting so they can watch this. Cassidy was backed up by four guys and Ospreay left with his guys.
Analysis: I assume they are going to do a multi-man tag team match at Forbidden Door. That’s fine. I expect a lot of tag team matches at that show in order to get more wrestlers on the card. Later in the show, they said Ospreay vs. Cassidy was on for Forbidden Door. I’d rather Ospreay face a better opponent, but the AEW crowd loves Cassidy.
Jon Moxley did a promo in a video package talking about how he’s been big game hunting NJPW stars and the last guy he has been looking for is Hiroshi Tanahashi. They also had comments from NJPW commentator Kevin Kelly, Jim Ross and others. Moxley said he’s been looking for him for three years. Moxley said he thinks he’s the best wrestler on planet Earth and he’s the Forbidden Door. That Moxley/Tanahashi segment was after a break.
Face to Face: Jon Moxley and Hiroshi Tanahashi
Jon Moxley made his entrance from the back of the arena with the crowd cheering him like they love to do. Moxley was wearing a leather jacket with jeans looking serious as usual. The Japanese wrestling legend Hiroshi Tanahashi got a big pop with JR saying he thought Tanahashi was one of the top three wrestlers of all-time. JR did not mention the others. Tanahashi is a former 8-time IWGP World Champion. The winner of this Moxley-Tanahashi match at Forbidden Door is going to be the Interim AEW World Champion. The fans chanted “Holy Shit” as they had a staredown.
Moxley told Tanahashi that he has been chasing him for a long time and now finally here you are in all your glory. Moxley talked about all of his work with New Japan has always been about facing Tanahashi. Moxley said there are a lot of championships, belts and tournaments, but only one man that they call “Ace” and that’s Tanahashi. Moxley said “not for long.” Moxley said that Tanahashi deserves respect since he is an inspiration to generations and to Moxley. Moxley said that it’s not a catchphrase when he tells Tanahashi that Moxley is the best professional wrestler on the planet while a lot of people pretend, but Moxley lives it every night. Moxley said that there’s a lot on the line and even more than the AEW World Title. Moxley talked about Tanahashi has had a busted neck, busted knees and Moxley told Tanahashi that he plays for keeps. Moxley when it’s over at Forbidden Door, Tanahashi is going to call Moxley “Ace.” Tanahashi looked like he was going to speak, but here comes Chris Jericho.
Analysis: Good stuff by Moxley building up his match with Tanahashi. I would be shocked if Moxley doesn’t leave Forbidden Door as the Interim AEW World Champion since he’s the AEW guy and Tanahashi is likely going back to Japan after that. It should be an amazing match.
Jericho was joined by Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti on the ramp. Jericho said that this is Jericho’s spot and Moxley knows it while Jericho threatened to burn his face in a fireball because he’s a wizard. Jericho talked about beating Tanahashi in the Tokyo Dome main event two years ago. Tanahashi told Jericho to “shut up” leading to cheers from the crowd. Jericho called for his Jericho Appreciation Society to attack Moxley and Tanahashi. Lance Archer and Desperado, who is from NJPW, joined in on the attack with the heels. Jericho introduced us to the newest members of the Jericho Appreciation Society – Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti. That led to Sammy and Tay kissing in the ring. They are now an engaged couple. Jericho talked about how Lance Archer and Desperado were on loan from their group leader Minoru Suzuki. Jericho said that he’s teaming with Suzuki and Sammy Guevara against Wheeler Yuta, Shota Umino and “that piece of trash” Eddie Kingston.
That led to Eddie Kingston running down to the ring with Wheeler Yuta, Santana and Ortiz, who now has his head shaved. The faces cleared the ring with Moxley hitting a DDT on Matt Menard. Tanahashi with a Slingblade neckbreaker on Desperado. Moxley and Tanahashi had a staredown to end it.
Analysis: That was long and it covered a lot of things like setting up the six-man tag team match at Forbidden Door, which should be a show full of tag team matches to try to get more people on the card. Anyway, most of this was fine and just a way to build to some upcoming things.
A video aired about Darby Allin exchanging words with Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish. Allin wants payback on Kyle because Kyle injured Sting’s leg several weeks ago. Allin said he’ll do the same thing to Bobby on Rampage.
Toni Storm was interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Storm spoke about facing Britt Baker later. Storm said that she’s going to take the women’s division where it should be, but what we want to see is Toni Storm as a World Champion.
Qualifying Match for the AEW All-Atlantic Tournament: “All Ego” Ethan Page (w/Dan Lambert) vs. Miro
Excalibur did some fast-talking routine trying to announce 25 things at once and it just confuses the audience while Tony & JR joked about how there were so many things he said. Ethan did some stalling early on and then he worked over Miro’s left arm a bit. Miro managed to break free and then he worked over Ethan’s left arm with punches. Miro tossed Ethan into the ring post. It led to a picture in picture break.
The match returned with Miro hitting a Samoan Drop while Ethan rolled to the apron. Miro delivered forearm smashes to the chest like his good friend Sheamus. Ethan pulled on the arm against the ropes. Poor camera work showed the back instead of the forearm connecting on the chest. Why would you show it from behind? Anyway, Ethan slammed Miro into the steel steps and then Ethan shoved Miro into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Page hit a diving shoulder tackle. Ethan jumped off the bottom rope with a Cutter for two. Ethan wanted Miro to pay, so that fired up Miro leading to a headbutt along with two overhead suplexes. Miro with a corner splash and spinning heel kick. Miro punched Lambert off the apron, then Miro hit a jumping kick to the face and Miro yelled “Game Over.” Miro applied the Game Over submission that’s a choke hold on the mat and Ethan tapped out. It went 10 minutes.
Winner by submission: Miro
Analysis: **3/4 This was just an average match. A dominant win by Miro by the end of it. I guess Miro is a face now? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter in AEW. Page is a guy that should be doing way more and booked in a better way, but they just never do anything with him. Ethan represents my country of Canada, so should I be sad about his loss? I can’t say I care enough to have any feelings.
Dante Martin was with Matt Sydal with Martin talking about facing Jon Moxley on Rampage. A win for Mox is obvious while Martin will hit a couple of big moves leading to “ooohhh” reactions.
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. (w/Jamie Hayter & Rebel) vs. Toni Storm
They exchanged strikes right away, then they left the ring and Baker sent Storm into the ring post. Storm tripped up Baker on the apron. Storm jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Rebel distracted the referee, Storm looked it, then ran right at where Hayter was on the floor, so Hayter tripped her. Gee, way to make it subtle. Hayter pulled Storm off the apron to the floor. Thunder Rosa went down to ringside and chased Hayter to the back. That looked so silly. They went to a picture in picture break.
Baker was in control with her boot on Storm’s throat. Baker took way too long to do a move in the corner, so it was easy to see why Storm hit a DDT. They left the ring where Storm hit a DDT off the apron on Baker on the floor. Storm with a German Suplex on Baker, who was trying to get her glove for the right hand. Storm hit a running hip attack on Baker. That actually looked like a good move with a big bounce while Baker looked like she was moving slow, but she was playing possum as she got a two count. Baker hit a swinging neckbreaker for two. Baker wanted the Lockjaw submission, but she wasn’t able to apply it. Storm hit a German Suplex and the Storm Zero piledriver for the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Toni Storm
Analysis: **1/2 It was a decent match with Storm getting the clean win because I guess Baker can lose matches now that she’s out of the title picture. Storm is okay, but I don’t think she stands out that much. Wearing shades during your entrance isn’t enough of a “gimmick” to really make her feel like a big deal.
Thunder Rosa appeared with the AEW Women’s Title and she pointed at Storm from a distance.
Stokely Hathaway was interviewed by Tony Schiavone with Stokely talking about Jade Cargill wrestling on Rampage. Willow Nightingale walked up saying she’s going to prove herself by accepting Jade’s open challenge for the TBS Championship. Stokely accepted it.
Let’s Hear from “Hangman” Adam Page
The former AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page made his entrance for an in-ring promo. Page said that he wanted Kazuchika Okada for a match and he wanted the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Page said he didn’t take into account that Okada may not be champion. Page said that the challenge still stands.
Adam Cole appeared to congratulate his good friend Jay White on winning the IWGP World Championship at Dominion. Cole said that Forbidden Door isn’t about AEW or NJPW because it’s about The Elite and the Bullet Club. Cole said it should be him against Jay White. Cole said Okada isn’t even going to be there. Cole introduced somebody to say hello.
Jay White, the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, was in the ring behind Page. White hit the Bladerunner neckbreaker. Jay told Page that he was the catalyst of Professional Wrestling. Jay said that he calls the shots. Jay said that Page lost his AEW World Championship to CM Punk and Jay told Page he’s 2-0 against him. Jay said if he puts the title on the line at Forbidden Door, it won’t be against Page. Jay told Adam it won’t be against him either. Jay said that this is the Switchblade Era.
Analysis: It feels like a triple threat match between White-Page-Cole, which should be a great match. They don’t have to go crazy with weapon bumps, but they probably will.
The Young Bucks made their entrance as the challengers. Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus were next as the champions with “Uncle” Christian Cage, but Christian went to the back. It’s a Ladder Match with tables set up around the ring.
Ladder Match for the AEW Tag Team Titles: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick)
The two AEW Tag Team Title belts were hanging above the ring. They need a ladder to bring the belts down.
Lucha hit a double clothesline on the Bucks. When Lucha grabbed a ladder, Nick dropkicked him down and then Boy hit a dive onto Lucha. Boy jumped off the ropes with a hurricanrana while Nick was on the ladder, so Nick bumped to the floor. Matt battled with Boy on the ladder, then Nick jumped up and Lucha got a hold of both Bucks. The Bucks kicked Lucha to break free, but Lucha kicked the ladder away and Boy hit a flatliner on Matt. Lucha hit a sidewalk slam/elbow drop combo. The Bucks kicked Lucha in the legs to bump him into the ladder. Boy with a cross body block on both Bucks. Matt came back with the Northern Lights suplex three times with the third one hitting Boy on the table. Nick followed with a double jump twisting dive onto Luchasaurus. The Bucks tried a double suplex, Boy suplexed Nick into the ring and Boy hit a hurricanrana on Matt through the table. Nick caught Boy on the apron and hit a Powerbomb on Boy through the table. Nick hit a Canadian Destroyer by Nick over Lucha. Nick went up top and hit a 450 Splash onto Luchasaurus through a table. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Jungle Boy fought back against both Bucks, he superkicked Nick and then Boy went for a springboard attack, but the Bucks hit a double superkick. Lucha back in with kicks for both guys followed by a Chokeslam on both Bucks including Nick taking a bump on the ladder. Lucha hit a moonsault off the apron onto both Bucks on the floor. There were two ladders set up under the titles, so then all four guys were on the ladders and they slugged it out. Lucha was close to getting the titles, but the Bucks pulled him down with a Powerbomb on the ladder. Nick with a superkick to Boy and a Poison Rana sent Boy to the mat. Matt jumped off the top rope with an elbow drop that drove Luchasaurus through the table. Boy battled Nick in the ring with a German Suplex. Matt tried to climb, Boy took off his shoe and then Boy hit a German Suplex on Matt across the ring. Boy was fighting off both Bucks on the ladder. The Bucks had Boy’s arm captured, but then they shoved Boy off the ladder so that Boy hit the top rope. The Bucks were knocked down as well. Luchasaurus was near the top of a big ladder, so both Bucks were there and shoved him off the ladder onto a double table stack on the floor. Luchasaurus had to jump off the ladder to make it over the rope to take the bump. It’s the Bubba Ray Dudley bump from TLC matches and one time he did it with Matt Hardy too. Boy tried to fight on his own, but the Bucks pulled him down and hit the BTE Trigger double knee attack to the head. The Bucks both climbed up the ladder and they pulled the titles down. It went about 15 minutes.
Winners AND NEW AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Analysis: ***3/4 It was a trainwreck that was more like a ladders & tables match instead of just ladders because they used so many tables for big spots including that big bump by Luchasaurus near the end of the match. It would have been nice if they tried to climb the ladders to go for the titles more because in the first 10 minutes it felt like there was barely any of that. I did like the structure of most of it. I just don’t think it’s some epic match or anything. I’m sure the Young Bucks “Uncle Dave” will rate it higher than me as usual. I’m okay with the Bucks as champions because they’re good as heels, but I’d rather see FTR with the titles again. I assume The Hardys would have won if Jeff Hardy wasn’t suspended.
The Young Bucks celebrated with the AEW Tag Team Titles. They are the first team to become two-time AEW Tag Team Champions. The Young Bucks walked towards the back with their titles.
Christian Cage was back at ringside to check on Luchasaurus. Christian went into the ring and he helped Jungle Boy get to the apron, but then Christian grabbed him. Christian hit the Killswitch on Jungle Boy. JR: “Oh you son of a bitch!” Great reaction by Jim.
Christian grabbed two chairs from under the ring while Jungle Boy’s mom and sister were shown at ringside. Christian did the Conchairto to Jungle Boy’s head. Christian turned Jungle Boy over and posed on top of him. JR called it sad and pathetic. Christian tossed his jacket onto a fallen Jungle Boy. That was it.
Analysis: That was building for a while, so there it is after the title loss. I thought they might do it where Christian might turn heel to cost Jungle Boy the titles, but instead they did it after the loss. That’s fine with me. I think Christian will do great in the heel role like he has done many times in the past. Historically speaking, Christian is better as a heel.
Three Stars of the Show
- Will Ospreay
- Dax Harwood
- Young Bucks and Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus
This Week: 8 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
A great show this week. I thought the Ospreay/Harwood match was the best of the night. It was competitive, lots of nearfalls and exciting to watch. The main event ladder match was good although I wouldn’t consider it some all-time great ladder match. Young Bucks as Tag Team Champions doesn’t surprise me because it felt like the right time for Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus to lose. There was also Christian Cage turning heel on Jungle Boy after the match as well, so that’s a newsworthy thing.
They built to Forbidden Door matches well. It can be a bit confusing at times because they rush through a lot of things and poor Excalibur has to talk really fast to try to tell us what’s coming up. I thought the Moxley/Tanahashi moment in the ring was cool. Chris Jericho’s hair match with Ortiz was solid and now Ortiz is bald, which is probably something he’s okay with.
It’s a two-hour show full of action and it was enjoyable to watch. I had fun writing about it.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.