The John Report: AEW Dynamite 08/23/23 Review

AEW Dynamite August 23

This week’s AEW Dynamite was the final Dynamite before the massive All In show at Wembley Stadium this coming Sunday featuring plenty of talking, Rey Fenix vs. Jon Moxley and Aussie Open vs. The Hardys in the main event.

This was AEW Dynamite episode #203 at the Gas South Arena in Duluth, Georgia. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

They had a graphic honoring the legendary Terry Funk, who died at the age of 79 on Wednesday. True legend. We miss you, Terry. Rest in peace.

It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Excalibur, Taz and Tony Schiavone were on commentary. This is a Fyter Fest episode, which really doesn’t mean much.

The Elite – Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Bullet Club Gold – Juice Robinson and The Young Guns (Austin & Colten Gunn) (w/Jay White)

The match never actually started because The Young Bucks and Omega attacked the heels in the aisle. Juice Robinson hit Nick in the ribs with a chair. Referee Rick Knox took the chair, so Juice punched him! That’s great. Thank you Juice. There was some more fighting going on with The Gunns hitting their 3:10 to Yuma double team move. Omega hit a Snapdragon Suplex on Colten Gunn and he did it to Austin Gunn too. White attacked Omega with chops, but Omega came back with a V-Trigger knee. Konosuke Takeshita arrived and decked Omega with a clothesline.

The AEW Tag Team Champions FTR arrived to clean house and insert your gun jokes about Cash Wheeler here. Most of the guys went fighting to the back.

Konosuke Takeshita fought with Omega in the ring. Takeshita with elbow strikes, but Omega came back with a knee to the head. Takeshita avoided the One Winged Angel and bailed to the floor.

Analysis: That was a chaotic start. It’s not that often that AEW announces a match and then they avoid doing it so they can just do some brawling instead. Most of it was fine although it felt like a lot of people were involved and perhaps it was too chaotic.

MJF Interview

MJF was interviewed by Renee Paquette for a seated interview. MJF started by talking about how great British fans are ahead of All In London this Sunday. MJF said he was excited about main eventing All In and wanted it to be the loudest crowd for any main event in history. MJF said he’s under an immense amount of pressure saying it’s the biggest event in the history of pro wrestling. MJF said that this doesn’t happen without the people that paved the road in pro wrestling history. MJF mentioned all the big names in pro wrestling history that have headlined huge shows like Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, The Rock, Dusty Rhodes, John Cena, The Undertaker (he said more names too) saying if he wins, he might become a giant himself in AEW.

A video aired about MJF and Adam Cole’s history in recent months. MJF said it’s real when he says he’s never had a best friend before Adam Cole. MJF said that Adam is not just a friend, they are brothers. MJF understands why the fans have reservations about trusting him. MJF spoke about how he’s been vulnerable for the first time in his life and he wants the fans to be vulnerable with him because he’s not just a scumbag, he’s “your scumbag.” Renee wished him good luck at All In and MJF said he gets to do it with his best friend.

Analysis: I liked that. MJF is honest and funny in segments like that, so it was no different. MJF is going to make history as the main eventer for a show with 80,000+ fans so that’s pretty cool and it’s going to make him a bigger star too.

Jon Moxley made his entrance.


Rey Fenix (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. Jon Moxley

Fenix dropkicked Moxley out of the ring followed by a suicide dive on the floor. Fenix hit another suicide dive on the floor. Moxley was ripping Fenix’s mask on the floor and Moxley hit The Stomp on the bottom of the ramp. I think Alex slipped Fenix a blade because Fenix was bleeding after that. Moxley sent Fenix into the barricade. Back in the ring, Fenix got some momentum going and ran the ropes, but Moxley decked him with a clothesline leading to a flip bump. Moxley got a two count as the show went to break.


Moxley was in complete control with a piledriver for two. Fenix was back up with a superkick. Fenix hit a spinning kick to the head. Moxley caught Fenix in a rear naked choke, but Fenix got out of it and hit a stomp. Fenix hit a Cutter for a two count. Fenix went up top and hit a Frog Splash for two. Moxley came back with elbow smashes. Fenix got a cradle counter for two. Fenix hit a springboard attack and Moxley hit him with a forearm. They exchanged strikes, Fenix hit a superkick and they battled on the turnbuckle. Moxley bit Fenix in the face. Moxley hit an Avalanche Death Rider for just a two count. Moxley applied a rear naked choke, Fenix tried to escape it and then Fenix tapped out, so Moxley got the win because Fenix passed out. It went about 14 minutes.

Winner by submission: Jon Moxley

Analysis: ***1/2 The match was very good. They worked well together. Moxley sold well for him at times while Fenix is one of the best athletes in AEW or anywhere in the world. The fans were into it and buying into the nearfalls before Moxley put him away. Fenix is such a great athlete take makes everything look easy. The Avalanche Death Rider should be a finisher, but I guess they wanted the passing out to the submission instead.

There was a post match attack between the Blackpool Combat Club and Fenix with his friends coming out. After Eddie Kingston and Penta arrived, they were attacked by Ortiz. Santana followed that by making his return and attacking Kingston and Pena. Fenix got hit with a crowbar to the head. Rey Fenix was getting checked on by doctors and put on a stretcher. BCC left with Santana & Ortiz so they are teaming up at Stadium Stampede.

Analysis: It was reported over the last week that Rey Fenix would be off All In due to some of travel issues. That’s why they did this injury angle here. Now it’s 5-on-5 in the Stadium Stampede Match:


They showed Rey Fenix getting taken away in an ambulance. Meanwhile, Eddie Kingston was there frustrated at Renee Paquette about her husband’s (Jon Moxley) actions and she didn’t know what to say. Eddie said he’ll fix it at Wembley.

Sammy Guevara was interviewed by Renee Paquette when Matt Menard, Angelo Parker and Daniel Garcia showed up. Sammy said he’s going to have to Jericho’s back. Parker said that he’s always there for Jericho but will Jericho be there for him? Parker said it was something to think about. Sammy said nothing.

Contract Signing: Will Ospreay and Chris Jericho

They were standing in the ring with security guards. Don Callis took a while to get to the point saying that he chose Ospreay over Jericho. Callis said a couple of years ago, Chris nearly died in England. Callis said he will be at ringside to support Will and make sure that job gets done.

Will Ospreay asked Chris Jericho if he was ready for this match. Ospreay said this match will change his life by performing in Wembley Stadium. Will talked about supporting his family and wrestling in an indy before All In because this is going to change his life for his family. Ospreay said after he beats Jericho he’ll be the only man to say he beat Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada and Chris Jericho. Ospreay said that goes very well in six months time when his contract expires for NJPW. Ospreay said that he’s the best in the world saying he’s better than The Elite, better than Danielson, better than Punk and better than Jericho. Ospreay said he respects Jericho’s legacy but all it is to him is rocket fuel for his future. Ospreay signed the contract.

Chris Jericho spoke about how five years ago he gave Ospreay advice on a cold call by telling Ospreay to tone it down or else he’ll be in a wheelchair like his idol Dynamite Kid was at the age of 30. Jericho said that this is the biggest show of his 33-year career. Jericho said it’s bigger than WrestleMania and Tokyo Dome show. Jericho said that he’s coming from the top while Ospreay is trying to get to the top. Jericho said he has to be the best version of himself and Will has to be the best version of himself. Jericho signed.

Jericho spoke about how Ospreay’s going to have his family in the front row. Jericho said don’t make him regret that he kept Will from being in a wheelchair. Jericho punched Ospreay and they tried to get into a fight, but the security guys actually did their job by keeping Jericho & Ospreay apart.

Analysis: I thought all of the promos were good. Callis put over Ospreay as being a younger, better star than Jericho and that’s why Callis turned on Jericho even though they are friends. Ospreay did a nice job of putting over the importance of this big match. I liked how Jericho put over All In saying it’s the biggest show of his career in his 33 years in the business. Big fight feel for sure.


Adam Cole Interview

Adam Cole did a sitdown interview with Renee Paquette. They showed some of the good times in the MJF/Cole friendship. It was from earlier in the night with Cole saying that MJF has helped him find his true self. Cole said when he got into wrestling, he wanted to be the best wrestler. Cole said he doesn’t want to win the match, he needs to win the match. Renee mentioned Roderick Strong and The Kingdom complaining about Cole’s friendship with MJF.

A video aired about some more Cole/MJF history. This time we saw teases of Cole nearly attacking him and also when Cole did fist on MJF’s back. Cole was mad about it saying there are no issues with him and Max. None. Cole left.

Analysis: I think Cole is turning heel with Strong & The Kingdom very soon. It seems possible at All In too.

Tornado Tag Team Match: Darby Allin & Nick Wayne & Swerve Strickland & AR Fox (w/Prince Nana)

It’s a Tornado Tag meaning anything goes and they don’t have to tag. All four guys are legal. Fox hit an impressive German Suplex off the top on Wayne. Swerve was on the floor with Allin, so Fox hit a senton onto Allin & Wayne on the floor. Fox & Swerve taunted Nick’s mom in the front row. Swerve did a belly-to-back suplex on Wayne on the apron. They battled on the apron, the heels were knocked down and Wayne hit a double Wayne’s World (Cutter) on both guys on the floor. Allin hit a Coffin Drop on both opponents on the floor.


They were all fighting in the crowd with Fox taunting Wayne’s mom because Wayne’s nose was bleeding. The fight returned to ringside with Swerve suplexing Wayne on the floor. Fox and Swerve hit moves at the same time including a dropkick sending Allin out of the ring. Wayne tried a move off the ropes, but he was caught for a double team neckbreaker. Allin was back in with a Stunner on Fox. Allin hit a suicide dive onto Swerve on the floor in front of the commentary table that was there. Fox jumped off the ring post onto Allin on the floor. Swerve Stomp on Allin on the floor, who was seated on a chair. Fox hit a twisting neckbreaker for two. Fox hit a cradle Fisherman’s Buster for two. Swerve hit a jumping kick on Wayne for two. Fox hit a running kick on Wayne. Fox went for a 450 Splash, Swerve wasn’t looking, Wayne moved and Fox hit the mat. Wayne used his legs to roll up Fox for the pinfall while Allin held onto Swerve to stop the save. Wayne got the pinfall win after 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Darby Allin & Nick Wayne

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a wild match since it was all over the arena. I thought they would use more weapons since everything is legal in a match like this. The big story is that Wayne got the first win of his AEW career. Most of the match was about the heels in control and the faces trying to come back. The finish was interesting because it was a counter from Wayne after taking a bunch of moves. That was done to set up what happened next.

After the match, Swerve Strickland says this was all a test for Fox. Swerve said that Fox can’t beat an 18-year-old child like Nick Wayne. Swerve aid he can’t trust Fox in this match and can’t trust Fox in front of 80,000 people. Prince Nana kicked Fox out of the Mogul Embassy group. Brian Cage showed up and dropped Fox with the Drillclaw.

Darby Allin, Sting & Nick Wayne made their entrance. They made the save as Swerve & Cage left with Prince Nana. Darby said he didn’t care what Fox did to him because Fox helped Darby when Darby needed it most. Allin told Fox he loved him and they hugged.

Christian Cage trashed Nick Wayne saying his father his dead and Christian said he never heard of Nick’s father Buddy Wayne. Christian said that Nick should stay away from All In and see the coffin door shut on somebody else he loves. The fans were chanting “Asshole” at Christian. Christian said that he is there to mentor Nick if he needs it because every fatherless child needs a mentor like him. Christian called himself the TNT Champion again even though it’s really Luchasaurus. The implication is that Christian will team with Swerve Strickland against Darby Allin & Sting for the Coffin Match at All In.

Analysis: Swerve came across like a big time jerk kicking AR Fox out of his group for not winning that match. Christian being with Swerve feels random, but they are doing Luchasaurus-Allin at All Out the following week so it can build to that too.

Let’s Hear from FTR and The Young Bucks

Renee Paquette was seated next to FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson). FTR said they saved them twice because they wanted to know who the better team was. Matt talked about getting 10,000 fans for All In and now they have 8x that. Nick said they don’t need to win because they are made men and FTR needs to win. Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood put over the importance of winning. Dax said that the only tag team that stands in the way of their legacy is Young Bucks. Matt said The Young Bucks are the reason that FTR came here and they have jobs here. Matt said when this is all said and done, people will say The Young Bucks are the best tag team in wrestling history. Matt said that FTR will be the guys that The Young Bucks named on their YouTube show. Harwood was furious about that and seemed to get really angry about it. Harwood said they (FTR) are the foundation of AEW now. Renee wrapped up the interview with the guys saying good luck.

Analysis: I thought it was interesting especially when Matt said that he thinks The Young Bucks are the best tag team ever while FTR will be the guys that The Young Bucks named on their YouTube show. The Young Bucks also came across as being cocky saying that they created AEW and they brought FTR to AEW. No mention of Cash Wheeler getting arrested for threatening somebody with a gun, of course.


A video aired about the AEW Women’s Title match at All In. They also have a tag team match on Rampage, which was taped last week.

Ruby Soho vs. Skye Blue

Toni Storm was with Ruby for the entrance, but then she went to the back. A pre-tape promo from Ruby had her saying she was going after the TBS Title. Ruby was aggressive early on after jumping Blue with some strikes. Ruby slammed Soho down by the back of her head and delivered some chops. Ruby sent Blue into the turnbuckle. Blue sent Ruby to the apron and hit a rising knee. Blue with a loud kick (thanks leg slap) and a cross body block on the floor.


Blue was on offense with a running dropkick. Blue hit a cross body block off the top for two. Blue hit a neckbreaker for two. They each went for pin attempts after that. Blue hit the Skyfall slam into the mat for two. Ruby with a knee, Blue with a kick again, Ruby with wrist control and the No Future kick. Ruby hit the Destination Unknown neckbreaker for the pinfall win. It went seven minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ruby Soho

Analysis: ** They worked hard and did their best, but it’s tough to get into women’s matches in AEW sometimes since they have less storylines and less in-ring time compared to the guys. We only saw about four minutes of action full screen here.

Roderick Strong and The Kingdom were interviewed with Renee Paquette. Strong was still in a neckbrace, which is ridiculous. Strong said at the end of AEW All In, he’ll find out who the real MJF is and who the real Adam Cole is.

Analysis: That’s another way to tease Adam Cole going heel at All In.

There was a video of House of Black’s story with The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn “retiring” after losing to House of Black.

The Acclaimed Wants House of Black

The Acclaimed duo of Max Caster & Anthony Bowens were pissed off as Bowens called out House of Black for a fight right now. The House of Black’s AEW Trios Tag Team Champions Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews entered with Julia Hart.

House of Black beat up The Acclaimed. Fans were chanting for Billy Gunn. The Acclaimed’s music hit and Billy Gunn made his return. When Gunn got into the ring, House of Black left the ring. The announcers sold it like The Acclaimed didn’t know Billy was there. Nice try.

Anyway, Billy Gunn did a promo saying House of Black got his attention. Billy said after House of Black beat him for the second time and Billy had to leave behind a really good career. Billy said last week, you jumped Max & Anthony, you busted Max open and Billy said “you hurt one of my kids.” Billy said you destroyed his boots that took 32 years to build. Billy said that he’s a Hall of Famer and they just pissed all over it. Billy said it’s going to happen at All In when they wrestle in front of 80,000+ people. Billy said at All In it’s House of Black against The Acclaimed, but not Daddy Ass. Billy said it will be “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn coming to London. The fans cheered.

Analysis: Billy isn’t known for being the best promo guy, but he did a fine job here. It’s yet another match for AEW All In. I don’t mind it because this one actually has a long term story with the Billy Gunn retirement angle, so now Gunn is back and maybe we’ll see The Acclaimed with Gunn win the titles.

The rundown for Collision and AEW All In London was next. Excalibur was talking and screaming really fast. I have the full card for All In at the bottom of this post.

The Hardys made their entrance.


ROH Tag Team Championships: Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy)

This feels like a weak main event with no story going into it and it’s just a title match randomly in the main event. Jeff hit running splashes on both opponents while Matt clotheslined Davis out of the ring. Jeff knocked Fletcher out of the ring too. The Hardys hit double back elbows and elbow/senton splashes on Fletcher. All four guys were fighting on the floor as the show went to break.


Aussie Open was in control of Jeff as the face in peril. Jeff fought back with punches and Whisper in the Wind coming off the top to knock both Aussie guys down. Matt got the hot tag with a back body drop. Matt sent Fletcher into the turnbuckles repeatedly. Matt hit a DDT on Davis and a Side Effect on Fletcher for two. Matt with an elbow smash on Fletcher off the middle rope. Matt hit a superplex on Fletcher and legal man Jeff hit a top rope splash on Fletcher for two as Davis made the save. Fletcher hit a Powerbomb on Matt to take care of him. Davis tagged in, Fletcher with a kick and Fletcher hit a Cutter on Jeff off the middle rope. Davis covered Jeff for the pinfall win after about 8 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)

Analysis: **1/4 It was just an average main event. The Hardys looked better in this match than they did in that match against The Young Bucks. The finish felt a bit anticlimactic, but it was effective enough I guess.

After the match, Kyle Fletcher said there will no double clothesline and no Kangaroo Kick at All In because Aussie Open will still be your ROH Tag Team Champions, bay bay.

Adam Cole and the AEW World Champion MJF made their entrance for a post match confrontation. They got into a brawl with Aussie Open, who stood tall momentarily. Davis and Fletcher celebrated, which gave time for the challengers to recover. Cole hit a pump kick on both opponents. David ducked to the floor to avoid the Double Clothesline. MJF wanted a Kangaroo Kick, but Davis knocked down MJF. Cole knocked Davis down. MJF elbowed Fletcher down. Cole wanted a superkick as MJF held Fletcher, who moved and MJF caught Cole’s foot. MJF and Cole had a staredown. Cole wanted a handshake, MJF brushed that off and bumped into him. MJF looked at his Dynamite Diamond Ring, but then he put it back in his pocket. MJF hugged Cole with the fans cheering. MJF posed with the AEW World Title while Cole stared at him. Both guys posed for the crowd with the fans cheering them. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It was a nice tease of tension between MJF and Cole. In the end, it ended with another hug as a sign of respect. I’m probably picking Cole to win the AEW World Title by turning heel on MJF with thanks to Roderick Strong and The Kingdom. I just feel like something like that has to happen.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Jon Moxley/Rey Fenix
  2. Chris Jericho-Will Ospreay
  3. Darby Allin & Nick Wayne


The Scoreboard

This Week: 7 out of 10

Last Week: 6.5

2023 Average: 7.35


Final Thoughts

It was a pretty good episode in terms of finalizing the AEW All In lineup. There were some things going into the show that needed to be addressed and they made some changes while adding a few things too. Overall, I think AEW did well to promote All In heavily and treat it like the big deal that it is. I’m not saying I love everything on the card. I just think in terms of promoting the show, they have done a nice job of pushing it.

In terms of matches, it wasn’t a particularly strong episode of Dynamite. I bet if you timed bell time it was low for AEW. That’s fine because we’ll see plenty of matches at All In on Sunday. The Moxley-Fenix match was the best one this week while Allin & Wayne winning over Swerve & Fox was entertaining as a wild match. Congrats to Nick Wayne on his first win at 18 years old.

The sitdown interviews with MJF and Adam Cole were effective in giving us their perspective going into All In. I thought The Young Bucks and FTR did well too. Matt Jackson claiming they’re the best tag team ever while FTR are just guys that The Young Bucks named on their YouTube show was very heelish. They’re still babyface teams, but I just thought that was an interesting line. The Jericho-Ospreay promos helped their match feel like a bigger deal too. Anyway, I’m ready for All In on Sunday and I’m sure the crowd at Wembley will be ready too.

The next AEW pay-per-view is All In London on Sunday, August 27th. Here’s the lineup so far.

aew all in mjf adam cole

* AEW World Championship: MJF vs. Adam Cole

* AEW World Tag Team Championship: FTR vs. The Young Bucks

* Chris Jericho vs. Will Ospreay

* “Real” World Championship: CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe

* AEW Women’s World Championship: Hikaru Shida vs. Toni Storm vs. Saraya vs. Britt Baker

* AEW World Trios Championship: House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King & Buddy Matthews) vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) & Billy Gunn

* Coffin Match: Darby Allin & Sting vs. Swerve Strickland & Christian Cage

* Stadium Stampede 5-on-5 Tag Team Match: Eddie Kingston, Orange Cassidy, Best Friends (Chuck & Trent) & Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta), Santana & Ortiz

* The Golden Elite (Kenny Omega, Kota Ibushi & Adam Page) vs. Bullet Club Gold (Jay White & Juice Robinson) and Konosuke Takeshita

* ROH World Tag Team Championship Match: Aussie Open vs. Adam Cole & MJF – ZERO HOUR PRE-SHOW


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

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport