This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Chris Jericho in action, more Blind Eliminator Tournament matches, Nick Wayne’s debut against Swerve Strickland, final names announced for the Blood & Guts match and more.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #197 at the SaskTel Center in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 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.
Chris Jericho got a big ovation for his entrance since it’s in Western Canada relatively close to where he grew up in Winnipeg.
Chris Jericho vs. Komander (w/Alex Abrahantes)
Komander was aggressive early with a clothesline sending Jericho over the top. Komander hit a dive onto Jericho on the floor. Komander sent Jericho into steel steps followed by a running knee. Back in the ring, Komander tried a springboard move, but Jericho stopped his momentum with a forearm to the head. Jericho hit some hard chops followed by a brainbuster for a two count. Komander came back with a back heel kick. When Komander charged, Jericho was ready and gave him a hip toss over the top to the floor. They went to break.
The crowd seemed to more against Jericho now chanting against Winnipeg, which is where Jericho grew up. Komander tried a charging attack but Jericho caught him and hit a double Powerbomb. Jericho went for a Lionsault, Komander moved and got a cradle for two. Komander hooked the arms for another pinfall for two. Komander went up top, Jericho tripped him up and Jericho did the middle finger salute to the crowd. Komander was up top again, he headbutted Jericho down, Komander walked the ropes and did a Shooting Star Press for two. Jericho with forearms, but then Komander moved when Jericho went for a springboard attack. Komander did his rope walk leading to a springboard moonsault that barely touched Jericho, but the crowd chanted “holy shit” for it. Komander hit a springboard Phoenix Splash that barely touched Jericho for a two count. Komander went up top, jumped off with nothing and Jericho hit a Codebreaker double knees for two. That didn’t really look that great either. Komander jumped off the top with dragonrana attempt, but Jericho caught him and applied the Walls of Jericho. Komander tapped out to give Jericho the win. It went about 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ***1/4 A competitive match with the veteran Jericho finding a way to stop the high flying attack of Komander. I liked the finish. The high-flying moves by Komander are impressive, but a few of them barely looked like they connected. Anyway, it wasn’t a surprise that Jericho would win.
Post match, Don Callis walked out to the ring to talk to Jericho in the ring. Callis bragged about their rating for their segment last week. Callis claimed the world is buzzing at the possibility of Jericho being part of the Callis Family. Callis mentioned their history going back 34 years ago and 28 years ago they were in astable with Bad News Allen. They showed a video of them together with Bad News Allen. Callis claimed that they were like a couple of Gods. Jericho said that was back in 1995, he still has all his hair and Don…well…he’s bald. Jericho said that Bad News wanted them to always stick together. Callis claimed they didn’t keep their promise to Bad News. Callis said Bad News is in heaven just at the possibility of Jericho joining the Don Callis Family. Callis said Jericho knows what Bad News would want his answer would be. Calls left while Jericho looked up to ponder it.
Analysis: It is another tease of Chris Jericho working with Don Callis, which could mean the end of the Jericho Appreciation Society. For now, it’s just a weekly tease that it might happen. Maybe it won’t happen and this is all being done to turn Jericho into a face. I don’t know where it’s going, but with Jericho there’s always a long term plan.
They showed some recent history with Jack Perry and Hook with Jack running away from Hook repeatedly.
Jack Perry was interviewed in the back seat of a car by Alex Marvez, but Hook attacked Perry there. Jack managed to get away from Hook. Hook spoke into the camera: “Keep running, Perry.”
The Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament continues after a break.
Don Callis was interviewed by Renee Paquette, who asked about what happened with Chris Jericho in the previous segment. Callis said that later in the show he’s going to announce the fifth man on the Blackpool Combat Club team. When Renee mentioned Kenny Omega, Callis said he wasn’t scared of him and Kenny will be hiding behind the skirts of the Young Bucks. The announcers talked about it with Tony Schiavone saying Don is an idiot.
They showed a video featuring AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Adam Cole hanging out in a bar. There were four attractive women there, so MJF said two for each of them and Cole said no because he really cares for Britt Baker. MJF left with the four girls. Later in the day, MJF zipped up his pants to “sell” that he just had fun with the ladies. Cole said they had to do something he wanted to do. MJF and Cole were playing the AEW Fight Forever video game. MJF mocked nerds playing games, but Cole said MJF is in the game. There was a point where MJF admitted he didn’t play multi-player games because he had no friends. Cole told MJF that he’s cool, MJF told Cole that he’s cool too and they agreed to be a cohesive team in the Tag Team Tournament.
Analysis: I like the segments they have had together because they are entertaining guys and fun to watch. Poor Cole is going to get his ass kicked when MJF turns on him.
Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament Semifinals: Darby Allin & Orange Cassidy vs. Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara
Orange hit a few arm drags on Sammy followed by the hands in the pockets routine. After Orange did some comedy routine, Garcia hit Orange in the back. Allin faced off against Sammy with a handshake. Allin knocked down Garcia on the floor and hit a suicide dive. Allin got a jackknife pin on Sammy for two. Garcia tripped up Allin to block a move. Orange went for a suicide dive, Garcia avoided it and threw Orange into the barricade. Garcia did a spinning front chancery headlock on Allin leading to a break.
Allin was in control on Sammy with a submission move on the legs, but Garcia stopped it with a kick. Allin knocked Garcia down, so Sammy hit a knee on Allin. Allin hit a Code Red on Sammy, but Garcia had made a blind tag and Garcia got a rollup for a two count. Orange got the tag by sending Garcia into the top turnbuckle multiple times, then Orange kicked Garcia back and Orange hit a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Garcia blocked a move by Orange and Garcia applied the Dragon Slayer submission. Orange got out of it, hit Stundog Millionaire, Darby hit a flipping Stunner and Orange hit a DDT for two as Sammy made the save. Sammy hit a jumping knee to the face. Sammy went for a running knee, but Orange hit him with a Beach Break. Garcia was legal so he exchanged pin attempts with Orange for repeated nearfalls. Orange and Garcia did a double kick to the face leading to some selling so the fans could cheer. Allin tagged in against Sammy and they did a collision spot coming out of the turnbuckle. Garcia got a hold of Orange on the floor leading to a uranage slam on the apron. Allin got the boots up, Sammy hit a running knee on Allin and Sammy missed a Shooting Star Press off the top. Prince Nana handed Garcia the skateboard to use against Cassidy, but then Allin got a hold of the skateboard. That led to Swerve doing a Swerve Stomp on Allin on the apron. Sammy acted like he didn’t see it. Sammy hit the GTH knee to the face for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara
Analysis: ***1/2 A very good match with a cheap finish due to Swerve Strickland going after his rival Darby Allin. It was weird with Prince Nana going out there, but then that led to Swerve, so it made sense in its execution. All four guys are really talented in the ring. Garcia is a pure heel, Sammy is certainly teasing a babyface run and Allin/Orange have interesting gimmicks, so they are always entertaining to watch.
After the match, Sammy Guevara shook hands with Allin.
The team of Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara have moved on to the Finals of the Blind Tag Team Eliminator Tournament.
There was a video package of the 18-year-old Nick Wayne ahead of his pro wrestling debut. They showed a barn on the property where the family had a ring set up with Nick saying that’s where he would train with his dad Buddy Wayne, Darby Allin and others. They showed clips of Nick training with Buddy too. Nick remembered when his mom told him that his dad Buddy Wayne died due to heart issues that he had. Nick said that when he was training with his dad from age 9 to 11, he did it for himself, but now he’s doing it for his family and his family name. Nick said he’s been ready for this for his entire life and he knew professional wrestling was meant for him.
Analysis: I liked the video. Nick is an easy kid to root for with that story for sure.
Adam Cole was on the phone talking to Britt about something with Renee Paquette trying to do an interview. Cole hung up the phone. Roderick Strong was there in a neckbrace wondering if Cole can really trust MJF. Cole claimed that he didn’t always get along with Strong, but now they are like family. Cole said MJF was a good guy. Cole got a message from MJF claiming he was sick after seeing Brian Cage, so Cole left to go talk to Max. That match is next.
Analysis: They continue the story of Cole trusting MJF even though people are warning him not to. MJF will likely prove to not be trustworthy at some point, but they can drag it out a bit.
Big Bill and Brian Cage with Prince Nana were up first. The AEW World Champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Adam Cole were up next MJF was even touching hands with the fans acting like a face. That’s a strange sight. Tony Schiavone was whining about MJF a lot. Cole was wearing the tag team shirt that was made for them.
Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament Semifinals: Adam Cole & Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) vs. Big Bill & Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana)
MJF tried a body slam, then sold a back injury, tagged in Cole and Max tried to leave, but Cole convinced him to stay. Cage tagged in, did some push ups and Cole did some push ups too. MJF was against Bill again with MJF barely lifting Bill. MJF tried to do push up, so Bill kicked MF in the ribs. Bill did his push ups. A very slow start to this match in the first four minutes leading to a break.
Bill and Cage were in control. Bill ripped off MJF’s shirt and wiped his ass with it. Bill tried to choke MJF, so MJF bit the hand. MJF hit a body slam and the fans popped huge for it! Cage tagged in, MJF raked the eyes and Cole tagged in with a running pump kick. Cole hit another pump kick while also doing an eye poke of his own. MJF tagged in while calling for the double clothesline. The fans chanted “double clothesline” too, but Cage held onto the ropes and Bill hit a double clothesline on both opponents. Cole and MJF chopped down Bill with multiple kicks, but Cage (the legal man) hit a double clothesline. Cage hit a double team slam on both opponents. MJF sent Cage to the apron, Cole with a superkick and MJF hit a Heatseeker DDT. Cole also kicked Bill on the floor to knock him down. Cole hit The Boom knee to the back of the head of Cage for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Adam Cole & Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF)
Analysis: *** I wouldn’t call it a great match, but it was entertaining to watch. They didn’t do much before the break and then it really picked up in the second half. Bill and Cage were fun to watch in their first match together on Rampage, but their winning ways are already done. I think AEW could certainly go back to them as a tag team down the road. The finish of the match was really well done with MJF and Cole continuing to work well as a team.
Adam Cole & MJF are now in the Finals of the Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament. That match is next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite. They had another graphic for another date, but then it was confirmed it is next Wednesday on Dynamite.
Post match, MJF asked the fans if we had any Devil Worshippers in the crowd tonight. MJF: “I am super over, Canada.” MJF chanted “do the thing” so the fans joined in and Cole did his “Adam Cole bay bay” routine. MJF plugged their shirt that’s now available. MJF said they are so close to hitting that double clothesline, so the fans chanted “double clothesline” for it. Cole said that he never thought this tag team with MJF would work. Cole said not only has it worked, but they are doing pretty damn good. Cole said he expects to win this Blind Eliminator Tag Team Tournament. Cole said that if they win this tournament then they get a shot at the AEW Tag Team Championships. Cole promised us that if they stay on the same page then you’re looking at the new AEW World Tag Team Champions. Why? “Because we’re better than you…bay bay.”
Analysis: This is proof that MJF could do very well as a babyface if they ever really go down that route with him. It’s probably not happening soon, but I’m just saying he can pull it off. They are entertaining together.
Jake Hager was shown talking to Chris Jericho in his locker room. Jake asked Jericho if he was considering this. Hager said that ten years ago he saved Jericho’s life in Abu Dhabi and Hager has been with Jericho four years ago. Hager said that this isn’t just Jericho’s career on the line, it is Hager’s too. Hager took off his purple hat saying that until Jericho can be straight with him, Hager can’t give him 100. Jericho looked at the hat as Jake left.
Analysis: Jake loves that hat as we know. Anyway, Jake is barely on the show, but he has been loyal to Chris for four years in AEW, so that part is true.
Women’s Owen Hart Cup Semifinals: Ruby Soho (w/Saraya & Toni Storm) vs. Skye Blue
It is yet another tournament match because AEW loves tournaments.
Blue got some offense early, then there were some distractions by The Outcasts on the floor and Blue delivered some kicks to take care of them. Blue hit a bulldog variation on Ruby on the apron. Storm grabbed Blue and threw her into the steel steps. The referee heard it or saw it and sent Storm & Saraya to the back. Ruby rammed Blue’s left knee into the steel steps repeatedly. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Ruby and Blue were exchanging strikes on the apron with Blue hitting a superkick. She’s good at doing a loud leg slap. Blue was selling a left knee injury. Blue with elbows, then Ruby blocked a kick and Blue hit a knee followed by a neckbreaker for two. Ruby blocked a Code Blue attempt followed by Ruby wrenching back on the left knee with a half crab submission. Blue got her hand on the bottom rope to break the hold. Blue hit a move that was like spinning slam sending Ruby face first into the mat. Ruby was selling to the referee that her nose was hurt. Blue went up top, Ruby hit the ropes and Blue bumped down to the turnbuckle. Ruby hit the No Future kick for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ruby Soho
Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match. Blue got plenty of offense, which is what happens sometimes when somebody is going to lose a match like that. Ruby’s No Future kick to end it looked great. A relatively clean win for the heel Ruby.
Post match, Saraya and AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm celebrated with Ruby Soho.
Ruby Soho advances to the Finals of the Women’s Owen Hart Cup. Willow Nightingale and Athena have their Semifinal match on Rampage, which is taped after Dynamite. The Finals are this Saturday on AEW Collision.
A video package aired showing highlights of AEW Collision from last Saturday night.
This Saturday on AEW Collision:
* FTR defend the AEW Tag Team Titles vs. Juice Robinson & Jay White in a 2/3 Falls Match.
* CM Punk vs. Ricky Starks in the Finals of the Men’s Owen Hart Cup Tournament.
Swerve Strickland facing Nick Wayne is up next.
The World Premiere video aired featuring Harley Cameron singing a rap song mocking The Acclaimed while putting over her buddies in the QTV group. QT Marshall and Aaron Solo celebrated the video being awesome.
Analysis: Harley is fun to look at, that’s for sure. Anyway, I liked some of the lines in her song, but it was also really fast too.
Swerve Strickland made his entrance with Prince Nana. Nick Wayne was up next to cheers. Darby Allin hugged him by the entrance area. Nick’s mom was at ringside as Wayne did a “W” hand motion while motioning to the heavens for his father.
Nick Wayne vs. Swerve Strickland (w/Prince Nana)
Wayne turned 18 years old on July 10th. They have wrestled before, so it was smart for AEW to book Wayne against a familiar opponent.
It started with Swerve and Wayne each going for moves, plenty of counters and neither guy was able to connect with a big move. They had a staredown. Swerve kicked Wayne into the ropes. Wayne did a headscissors followed by a dropkick. Wayne hit a Fisherman’s Suplex into a pin for two. Nana tried a trip, but Wayne sent Swerve out of the ring. Swerve grabbed Wayne on the apron, Wayne elbowed his way out of it and Wayne hit a hurricanrana from the apron to the floor.
Swerve was in control, but Wayne hit a few forearms followed by a dropkick. Wayne hit a spinning kick to the body. Wayne hit a springboard Stunner move, Swerve blocked it and Wayne hit a Sliced Bread neckbreaker for a two count. Wayne went for a move off the turnbuckle, but Swerve caught him and hit two backbreakers on his shoulders for a two count. The fans were chanting “Nick Wayne” for the young guy. Darby Allin showed up on the ramp to encourage Wayne. They were battling on the top turnbuckle with Wayne hitting a reverse hurricanrana off the top rope! That was awesome. Wayne hit his Wayne’s World cutter off the turnbuckle for a two count. Great nearfall. Wayne went for a hurricanrana off the top, but Swerve countered with a Powerbomb. Swerve hit a running kick Last Call for a two count. Good nearfall there too. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Swerve bent back Wayne’s left arm and stomped on the left arm/elbow. Swerve hit a JML Driver for the pinfall win after 11 minutes while Swerve stared at Darby during the pinfall.
Winner by pinfall: Swerve Strickland
Analysis: ***1/2 Great match. Nick Wayne is very impressive for an 18-year-old, which is new for a lot of us, but he has been wrestling for a few years and done a phenomenal job elsewhere in his career. I think it’s fine to have Swerve get the win because you can certainly build up to the rematch down the road and have Wayne get a big win at that point. Wayne is really gifted as an athlete, he sells well, he has the big moves and even though he’s a skinny kid at this point, he is believable out there. I thought Wayne fared very well for himself.
After the match, Darby Allin checked on Nick Wayne in the ring. Swerve stared at Nick’s mom at ringside.
There was a rundown of what’s coming up on Rampage. They mentioned Collision matches that were already discussed earlier. There’s also Battle of the Belts VII on Saturday after Collision. That’s a lot of content.
Blood & Guts Match Participants Announcement
Don Callis walked out to the ring for the announcement for the Blood & Guts match. Callis said that this fifth member will join the Blackpool Combat Club in the Blood & Guts match. Callis said that there is nobody more deserving of this abuse than Kenny Omega. Callis said he knows the real Kenny Omega, who is a coward and a punk.
Kenny Omega made his entrance to go after Don Callis, but Jon Moxley and Konosuke Takeshita were there to fight Moxley. Pac made his AEW return with a steel chair that he used to hit Omega in the back of the head. Omega was held, so Callis stomped on Omega’s head.
Pac told Omega that you have no idea how long Pac has waited for this. Pac said that he’s the fifth member and now Omega pays the price.
Omega was down on the mat with the chair wrapped around his neck. Omega said that we have a fifth member too, check the screen.
The video started playing and it was Kota Ibushi joining The Elite to form The Golden Elite. Ibushi was not there, but the graphic showed Ibushi on the team.
The Young Bucks and Hangman Page were in the ring. They hit a double superkick and a Page hit a Buckshot Lariat. Hangman Page said that this Wednesday at Blood & Guts, they will finish this once and for all.
Kenny Omega said that this is more about fighting, it’s about heart, passion, soul, friendship and love. Omega said that the BCC consumed with rage will never prosper. Omega said that next week you will find out the hard way that barbed wire and skewers to the head are nothing compared to what they will do. Omega said when the five of them are out, Omega will come after Don Callis. Omega ended it with his catchphrase to end it. The Elite guys were standing tall in the ring while the BCC guys were on the floor. The Blood & Guts match is next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite. End show.
Analysis: This felt rushed a bit, but they got everything announced that they need to announce. Kota Ibushi joining The Elite guys to form The Golden Elite was very much expected and it will be Ibushi’s AEW debut. Pac has been gone for months, so having him join the BCC for this match is certainly fine with me. I think Pac could fit into the BCC as a group well if they want to go that route too. I liked the promo from Omega with him promising to go after Don Callis when the five guys on the BCC team are taken out. That Blood & Guts match will be a bloodbath as usual.
Three Stars of the Show
- Swerve Strickland/Nick Wayne
- MJF & Adam Cole
- Chris Jericho
This Week: 7.25 out of 10
Last Week: 7
2023 Average: 7.44
I liked it for the most part. Good matches throughout the night. In terms of storylines, it’s okay, but I wouldn’t call it a hot period for stories in AEW. I can’t say I love having so many tournaments going, but this company really loves tournaments.
The MJF & Adam Cole dynamic continues to be fun as they picked up a win. Nick Wayne was impressive as an 18-year-old in his first match against Swerve Strickland, who got the win. You could tell they worked before because they had a lot of chemistry. Ruby beating Skye was fine, but the women’s division remains a weak point in this company overall. There just aren’t many storylines or interesting matches for the women.
The Blood & Guts final participants felt a bit rushed. It was in the main event spot and only had a few minutes. I like the choices of Pac with the Blackpool Combat Club and Kota Ibushi obviously with The Elite guys making it The Golden Elite. The way it was revealed was a bit awkward, but they got it done. That should be an incredible, bloody match next week.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays. You can contact me using any of the methods below.