The John Report: AEW Dynamite 09/14/22 Review
This week’s AEW Dynamite featured two big matches with Chris Jericho facing Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley against Sammy Guevara in the Tournament of Champions to crown a new AEW World Champion next week.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #154 at the MVP Arena in Albany, New York. Check out the AEW PPV listing archive only on TJRWrestling as well. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.
The Dynamite intro aired to start the show. A lot of key people missing from that intro. Just saying. It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Excalibur was on commentary with Tony Schiavone and Taz.
Jon Moxley made his entrance for the first Tournament of Champions semifinal match. The announcers kept calling Moxley a three-time World Champion, which confused me because he’s two-time AEW World Champion, but then I realized they are adding his 1-time WWE Champion as well since their graphic also notes the titles that Jericho and Bryan won in WWE too. Moxley’s Blackpool Combat Club buddy William Regal was on commentary for the opening match. The fans loved Moxley as usual. Sammy Guevara was up next without his wife Tay Melo. Sammy was booed as usual.
Tournament of Champions Semifinals: Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara
Sammy bailed to the floor after the bell rang. Sammy got some offense going with chops along with stomps in the corner. Moxley was back up with a huge lariat that Sammy sold with a flip. They exchanged chops, Moxley mocked Sammy for some weak chops, Moxley hit a forearm and after Moxley took a bump to the floor, Sammy hit a dive onto Mox on the floor. Sammy hit another dive on Moxley on the floor. Sammy stomped on Moxley’s jaw along with Sammy kicking the back of Moxley’s head into the steps. They went to a picture in picture break.
Moxley worked over Sammy with repeated clotheslines in the corner followed by a back rake and a biting as if he was in an AEW locker room fight. Moxley suplexed Sammy off the top for two. Moxley went for a submission, Sammy got out of it and Sammy got a kick to the head. Moxley had to stand there like an idiot waiting for Sammy to jump off the ropes twice for a Cutter. Sammy picked up Moxley for a move, but Moxley countered it and got the hammer elbows to the head. Moxley ran the ropes leading to Sammy hitting a Spanish Fly flipping slam for a two count. The crowd chanted “this is awesome” for them. Sammy went up top with his back turned to the ring, so Moxley went up top and gave him a German Suplex off the top with Sammy doing a flip bump. Tay Melo and Anna Jay went down to ringside leading to boos to support Sammy. Jay distracted the referee, Tay went into the ring and kicked Moxley in the groin and Sammy got a rollup for two. Good nearfall there. Sammy went up top with a Senton Bomb, but Moxley moved out of the way and Moxley hooked the arms for a pin attempt for two. Sammy with forearms, Moxley no-sold that and hit his own strikes to the head. Sammy with a jumping knee strike, then a thrust kick and Moxley gout of a GTH attempt. Moxley hit the Death Rider slam for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: ***3/4 A great opening match with Sammy looking impressive with his athleticism, but Moxley was countering him the whole match and one final counter move led to the Death Rider for the win. Sammy is a talented guy that knows how to get heat as a heel, but he’s also really exciting to watch in terms of the moves he does. Moxley winning was the obvious result here since he’s a top guy in AEW while Sammy just isn’t at that level yet.
That means Moxley is in the finals of the Grand Slam Tournament to crown a new World Champion next week.
Let’s Hear from MJF
Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance wearing dress clothes while wearing a scarf. MJF was cheered at first, but then he yelled at the crowd. MJF said that last week he saw Moxley show no fear in the ring last week and he didn’t like it. MJF said that he’s different from when they feuded in 2020. MJF said that he’s not playing a character, Moxley is. MJF spoke about how he read Moxley’s book calling him an uneducated, poor, white trash scumbag just like the crowd in Albany. MJF spoke about how Moxley got beat up as a kid, then it helped him build a great character and that’s why these morons chant your name every week. MJF said he knows Moxley is still the scared, poor little boy from the slums from Cincinnati. MJF said that now Moxley can drown in alcohol like a worthless drunk, MJF yelled at a fan calling him “fat boy” as he gave Moxley credit for getting sober and defeating his disease. MJF said that his brain is far more dangerous for Moxley’s disease. MJF had a message for Moxley, Jericho and Danielson saying that bad things happen when you’re around MJF. MJF told Moxley to take his vacation next week and not win MJF’s World Title while saying it was his World Title. MJF continued to trash Moxley saying if he does not tread lightly that MJF is a demon that will take everything from him and MJF is a demon that Mox can’t slay.
MJF once again trashed Albany for being poor. MJF mentioned a young group of gentlemen that is a stable on retainer. MJF introduced his best friend that he has known since he was 19 years old and he introduced Stokely Hathaway and The Firm. I guess the group is known as The Firm now.
Analysis: That MJF promo was all about Moxley, so that would mean that’s probably an upcoming title feud although I prefer that it’s Danielson that wins the title. Anyway, MJF is a great talker as we know. He never disappoints when he gets time to fire off his promo like that.
Stokely Hathaway led out The Firm group of Ethan Page, Lee Moriarty, W. Morrissey and the Gunn Club brothers Austin & Colten Gunn. MJF left the ring. Hathaway said that some time ago he flew from Orlando to New York City to meet his best friend, the number one contender for the AEW World Championship, Maxwell Jacob Friedman. Hathaway said that MJF wanted to quit AEW, so Hathaway told MJF he shouldn’t quit to give everybody exactly what they want. Hathaway said that the logical solution is that everyone in this MJF’s support system. Hathaway said when MJF doesn’t need them, they will go their separate ways. Hathaway said he’s not a publicist, he’s not a manager, he’s not an assistant and he’s just a friend that has the network and connections to make anything happen so you wish you had a friend like him. Hathaway kept on talking about how there’s nothing like good old-fashioned blackmail because that’s what causes him to wake up and that’s what turns on him.
Hathaway said that Morrissey wants to do whatever he wants, Hathaway said he appreciated him and he loves him. Hathaway hugged Morrissey, who just stood there. Hathaway claimed that it was time for Moriarty to become a star and bring some honor to the ROH Pure Championship. When he got to the Gunn Club, the fans chanted “Ass Boys” at that them. Hathaway said that they want to become AEW Tag Team Champions and you will take them seriously. Ethan Page was next with Hathaway saying he’s known him for years as best friends and rivals. Hathaway said that Page wants to represent his beautiful country of Canada as the All-Atlantic Champion. Hathaway ended it reminding us they are The Firm as the promo ended.
Analysis: Hathaway is also a great talker. It was a bit long, but it was fine to establish them as a heel stable at least for as long as MJF needs them apparently. I think Ethan Page is one of the most underutilized guys in all of AEW and I’m not just saying that because his hometown is an hour from me. I think Ethan is really good and they just don’t use him that much. Morrissey is another guy they should be using more. Anyway, we know AEW loves stables, so here’s another one.
They showed promos from Jungle Boy and Jay Lethal (with friends) talking about their upcoming match.
Jungle Boy entered first after he issued an open contract and Jay Lethal was next with his buddies Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh.
Jay Lethal (w/Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh) vs. Jungle Boy
The first minute of the match started with both guys doing counter moves and escaping moves. Boy bounced off the ropes leading to an armdrag followed by a dropkick. Boy countered a Figure Four Leglock attempt into a cradle for two. Boy kicked Lethal to the apron along with an elbow strike. Singh stood in front of Lethal to stop Boy from doing a dive to the floor. Boy went up top, Lethal went after him there and Lethal gave Boy a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle. Boy bumped to the floor leading to a picture-in-picture break. That’s two straight matches going to a commercial after a bump on the floor, so that’s like how WWE does it.
Lethal was in control as he sent Boy back-first into the turnbuckle two times. Boy bounced off the turnbuckle with a clothesline as both guys were down selling a bit. They did the forearm exchange spot that exists in most AEW matches as Boy hit a running elbow to the head. Boy was selling a back injury, Lethal kicked in in the back and then Boy bounced off the ropes with a clothesline. Boy hit a brainbuster for two. Lethal got a hold of Boy on the middle turnbuckle and Lethal hit a Russian legsweep off the middle ropes for two. Good spot there. Lethal bounced off the ropes, Boy caught him and Lethal came back with the Lethal combination backbreaker/flatliner. Boy to the floor, so Lethal hit a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Lethal hit an elbow drop for two. That didn’t look great since it was too obvious Lethal took the bump on his knees and barely touched the guy. Boy went for the Snare Trap, Dutt on the apron, Boy knocked Dutt down and Lethal got a rollup for two. Boy went for the Snare Trap submission again leading to Lethal tapping out after about 12 minutes.
Winner by submission: Jungle Boy
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match with Jungle Boy getting a big win after getting his ass kicked at All Out. They had a few good nearfalls like the spot that saw Lethal get some distraction help, but I think it was the right call to give Jungle Boy the win because he needed it more.
A video aired about Hook and Action Bronson training together. Bronson said that next week they are going to beat Daddy Magic and Angelo. Hook told them to be ready.
Ethan Page interrupted an interview with a pizza guy (some indy wrestler) and Ethan kicked him in the head to knock him down. Danhausen interrupted, so Ethan said he’ll face him on Rampage and that was it.
They showed Darby Allin riding some tiny bike at an event called Nitro Circus. It helps that he is tiny. I wouldn’t fit on it.
Matt Hardy did a promo talking about Allin saying he’s refocused in AEW trying to get to the top, so he’s challenging Allin to a match this Friday on Rampage.
Analysis: Matt is barely used by AEW and he turns 48 years old soon. His last TV match was a loss to Christian Cage over one month ago.
Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Matt DiMartino
Hobbs splashed the guy in the corner and then he hit a spinebuster for the pinfall win in under 30 seconds.
Winner by pinfall: Powerhouse Hobbs
Analysis: Match of the year. The spinebuster by Hobbs is good.
Powerhouse Hobbs was about to do a promo as the fans chanted “We Want Ricky” for Starks. Hobbs mentioned that he beat Starks at All Out. Hobbs said that at All Out, it only took him 4:35 to beat him. Hobbs was bleeding from the mouth somehow. Hobbs said it was time to open up a new chapter in the Book of Hobbs and it starts tonight. Ricky Starks was shown walking down the steps in the crowd.
Starks ran by the inept ringside security and punched Hobbs a few times. Starks hit Hobbs in the head with the microphone. Taz thought that busted Hobbs’ lip, but that was busted earlier. Starks did a pose in the ring as the fans cheered. No promo time for Starks.
Analysis: I guess that Hobbs-Starks feud is continuing. I assume Starks will get the win next time and then they will do a third match that’s a gimmick match. Starks should win the rivalry.
A promo aired from Death Triangle about how Lucha Brothers got a Tag Team Title match against Swerve in our Glory. Pac told his buddies to win.
Lucha Brothers made their entrance with Alex Abrahantes. Lucha Brothers and Pac are the Trios Tag Team Champions. Swerve In Our Glory were next with Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee entering with the Tag Team Titles. The winners of this match will defend the titles against The Acclaimed next week.
AEW Tag Team Championships: Swerve In Our Glory – Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee vs. Lucha Brothers – Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes)
Penta caught Swerve in an armbar, then Swerve got out of that and Penta kicked him in the ribs. Fenix tagged in with a dropkick and then Penta slammed Fenix on top of Swerve. Fenix set up Swerve on the ropes, but Swerve hit a headscissors off the middle rope. Lee tagged in with a forearm to the head followed by an overhand chop. This time they went to a break with the guys in the ring.
Swerve was in the ring with Fenix preventing a tag, but Fenix hit a spin kick to the head. Penta hit a Slingblade neckbreaker followed by a backstabber. Lee in illegally, Penta with a Slingblade neckbreaker and a kick. Fenix in illegally with a kick on Swerve, then Penta hit a Made In Penta slam, but Lee tossed Fenix into the ring to break up the pin. Swerve broke free with a punch leading to Lee tagging in with a shoulder tackle and a punch. Lee picked up Fenix, Penta was in the ring illegally doing a bunch of kicks (the referee sucks and Fenix hit a springboard Spanish Fly on Swerve for a count. Penta jumped off Fenix’s back leading to a Canadian Destroyer on Lee for a two count. The fans chanted “holy shit” for that. It’s a great spot, but doing illegal moves is dumb to me. Anyway, Swerve shoved Fenix off the top rope. Lee hit his finisher that was once called the Big Bang Catastrophe for the pin on Fenix. It went about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Swerve In Our Glory – Swerve Strickland & Keith Lee
Analysis: ***1/4 An exciting tag team match that wasn’t very long, but had lots of action. That Canadian Destroyer by Penta was impressive even though it happened while all four wrestlers were doing random spots instead of trying to have a regular tag team match. It would be better if they did more tornado tag team matches in AEW.
The Acclaimed arrived for a promo (along with “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn) with Max Caster telling Swerve not to interrupt him again like he did last week and mocked Swerve for hanging out with rappers. Caster said that next week in New York City they will be the AEW Tag Team Champions. Anthony Bowens said that they’ll be the champions because everybody loves The Acclaimed. The fans popped big for that. They did the “scissor me, Daddy Ass” thing to end it. They had “Scissor Me, Daddy” shirts on.
Analysis: I like the team, but I’ll pass on the shirt. I think The Acclaimed will win the titles next week.
Pac was interviewed by Alex Marvez, who mentioned a bump in the road for the Lucha Brothers. Pac reminded Marvez that Death Triangle are the Trios Tag Team Champions while Pac is the All-Atlantic Champion. Orange Cassidy did a cheap shot punch to Pac’s face and said that Pac won’t be a double champion for long.
Analysis: That was not very babyface-like by Cassidy on Pac, who is also a face. AEW likes random attacks like that.
There was a promo from Interim AEW World Champion Toni Storm and Athena trash-talking Britt Baker ahead of their match. They also tried to push the story of Baker having issues with her friend Jamie Hayter. AEW barely uses the women on their shows, yet they want us to care about the brief TV time they get.
Serena Deeb & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. (w/Rebel) vs. Toni Storm & Athena
Storm and Serena did an exchange of side headlocks and takeovers on the mat. Storm chopped away on Serena in the corner, Athena tagged in and got a splash over the top onto Serena in the ring. Athena with a dropkick, then an elbow strike and Athena hit the double knees onto Serena. Baker distracted Athena, so Serena did a chop block to the knee. That led to a break.
Storm tagged in as the show returned with Storm hitting a dropkick on Baker. Storm with a running uppercut in the corner. Serena pulled Baker out of the ring, so Storm hit a dropkick on Serena and a DDT on Baker on the floor. Back in the ring, Baker hit a Slingblade neckbreaker. Athena exchanged forearms with Serena and when Serena jumped off the ropes, Serena applied an armbar on the right arm. Serena went for a sunset flip, Athena broke free and hit a double knee to the face. Storm tagged in and jumped off the top with a cross body block, but Serena rolled through with a half crab. Athena in illegally with a kick and forearms. Baker was in illegally with a superkick to Athena and Storm. Athena broke up a pin attempt by Serena. Baker tossed Athena into the steel steps at ringside. Storm went for a suplex, the referee was distracted by Rebel on the apron and Serena sent Storm into the chair leading to Serena getting the rollup on Storm for the pinfall win. It went about ten minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Serena Deeb & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.
Analysis: **3/4 A cheap win for the heels using Rebel to distract and then a chair bump to pin the champion. That finish was done to set up a title match on Dynamite next week as we would find out a few minutes later. Some parts of the match were okay, but not that interesting overall. I don’t think it’s smart to pin Storm so soon after she just won the title too.
Post match, Athena tried to save Storm from a further attack, but Baker hit a superkick on Athena and a Stomp as well. Jamie Hayter went into the ring, she took a chair from Storm and hit Storm in the ribs with it. Hayter hit Storm in the back with the chair. Hayter was talking to Baker, who said she was sorry to Hayter and Hayter left on her own.
Analysis: That story with Hayter and Baker possibly splitting up is a slow-burn story. It’s fine I guess, but AEW does a poor job of telling stories with the women’s division.
This Friday on Rampage:
* ROH TV Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Josh Woods.
* Ethan Page vs. Danhausen.
* Penelope Ford vs. Willow Nightingale.
* Matt Hardy vs. Darby Allin.
Next Wednesday on Dynamite:
* For The Vacant AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Jericho or Danielson.
* AEW Tag Team Championships: Swerve In Our Glory (c) vs. The Acclaimed.
* Interim AEW Women’s Championship: Toni Storm (c) vs. Serena Deeb vs. Athena vs. Britt Baker.
* All-Atlantic Championship: Pac (c) vs. Orange Cassidy
Next Friday on Rampage:
* Matt Menard & Angelo Parker vs. Hook & Action Bronson.
The main event between Jericho and Danielson was up next.
Chris Jericho made his entrance to the “Judas” song with the fans singing along with it. Jericho was using “The Wizard” nickname for this match. Jericho beat Danielson ten days earlier at All Out and now they have a rematch. The fans cheered at the end of the song.
Bryan Danielson was up next to a pretty good pop from the crowd. Bryan was joined by William Regal, who made his way to the commentary table for the match. The AEW World Title was at ringside.
Tournament of Champions Semifinals: Chris Jericho vs. Bryan Danielson
Bryan was aggressive early on with chops and kicks as excitable Tony shouted that “he’s in trouble” referring to Jericho. Bryan with a running dropkick. Jericho came back with chops, then Bryan hit more chops/kicks and Bryan hit a running dropkick in the corner. They showed ROH Pure Champion Daniel Garcia watching on a TV backstage. Bryan tossed Jericho out of the ring followed by a running dropkick to knock Jericho down. Bryan hit a running knee off the apron onto Jericho on the floor. Bryan sent Jericho’s left arm into the ring post two times. Back in the ring, Bryan hit a missile dropkick off the top. Bryan jumped off the top with a headbutt to the left shoulder area. Bryan drove his knee into Jericho’s left arm and Bryan kicked the left arm as well. Bryan worked over Jericho with kicks to the body, then Jericho ducked a kick and Jericho hit a German Suplex. Jericho hit the springboard dropkick on the apron, which is a classic Jericho spot. Jericho also jumped off the turnbuckle onto Bryan on the floor. Jericho with palm strikes to the head, Bryan came back with his own strikes leading to another chop fest between them. They both ran the ropes leading to a double cross body block spot and there’s the cue for the picture-in-picture break.
The show returned with Bryan going to the top rope only for Jericho to knock him down. Jericho gave Bryan a hurricanrana off the top, but Bryan came back with a bridging German Suplex for two. Bryan applied the Cattle Mutilation submission leading into the hammer elbows to the side of the head. Jericho gave Bryan his own elbows to the face, but they didn’t look good and Bryan shook them off. They exchanged chops, Jericho hit a Codebreaker, Bryan didn’t sell it right away so that he could hit a Busaiko Knee strike and that led to both guys selling on the mat. They were back up doing chops again. Jericho was standing on the apron and suplexed Bryan over the top to the floor. Bryan was selling a left foot injury and even took his shoe off while the AEW ringside doctor Michael Sampson was there to check on Bryan. Jericho attacked the left foot on the floor and then sent it into the ring post a bunch of times. Jericho applied the ringpost Figure Four Leglock on Bryan’s legs by the ringpost. Jericho with a chop block to the left knee followed by Jericho hitting a kneebreaker. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho although it was more like a classic Boston Crab submission. Jericho turned it into a single-leg crab submission on the left leg. Bryan did a great job of selling as usual as he found a way to crawl near the ropes. Jericho let go, Bryan kicked Jericho into the turnbuckle and Bryan got a rollup for two. Jericho applied the Figure Four Leglock as the fans shouted “woo” for it. Bryan got out of it, Bryan delivered crossfaces to the head and Bryan applied the LeBell Lock submission on the left arm while pulling back on the face. Bryan had Jericho trapped in the submission leading to Jericho tapping out to give Bryan the win. It went 20 minutes.
Winners by submission: Bryan Danielson
Analysis: **** It was another terrific match between these two guys who are among my favorite wrestlers of all time. I thought it was a lot of fun similar to the match they had at All Out except it had a different result this time. The second part of the match was all about Bryan selling the left leg injury with Jericho attacking it, but Bryan still found a way to win. I was surprised they didn’t do a spot in the match where Jericho cheats to try to win. Not even an attempt at it? You should get that in the match at some point. A small gripe is that they had Bryan work on the left arm early in the match. It wasn’t enough to me because they went away from it, yet Bryan was still able to find a way to win. As I said last week, Bryan avenged his loss to Hangman Page by beating him, now Bryan beat Jericho after losing to him and next week Bryan can beat Moxley to avenge that loss as well.
After the bell rang, Daniel Garcia looked at the camera to say that was good. Thanks for the contribution.
Next week on Dynamite Grand Slam it’s Jon Moxley vs. Bryan Danielson to crown the new AEW World Champion. Regal was excited about his two guys facing eachother next week.
Jon Moxley made his way down to the ring to face off with Danielson. They are both in the Blackpool Combat Club. Bryan got back to his feet selling the left leg injury. It was pretty funny as they went face to face and a fan held up a sign that said “CM Punk Owns The Bucks” between them. Awkward. Anyway, the fan put the sign down and then Bryan/Moxley had a staredown. Moxley and Bryan shook hands ahead of their title match next week. The fans cheered. End show.
Analysis: I’m going with Bryan. It’s not a lock or anything like that. It’s just what I think they should do. However, MJF did that promo that focused on Moxley earlier so maybe that’s a way to set up MJF-Moxley. I don’t know what the plan is, but it should be a great match.
Here’s that sign I mentioned.
Signs are fun. #AEWDynamitepic.twitter.com/rvsaGGD0jB
— John Canton (TJRWrestling) (@johnreport) September 15, 2022
Three Stars of the Show
- Bryan Danielson
- Jon Moxley
- Chris Jericho/Sammy Guevara
Shoutout to pizza guy too!
This Week: 7.75 out of 10
Last Week: 8
A lot of good wrestling on this show as usual. It’s pretty simple to tell Danielson and Jericho to go have a great match for 20 minutes in the main event. They’re so talented. I liked the result of Bryan winning to face Jon Moxley next week after Mox beat Sammy Guevara in the opener. That match was very entertaining as well.
The rest of the show was solid for the most part. I thought the MJF promo was fun although last week was better. The Stokely Hathaway promo went a bit long, but it was effective in terms of announcing The Firm as a new stable in AEW. They love stables. It would be nice if they cared more about the women’s division, but it is what it is. The creative team just doesn’t care that much.
I enjoyed the show overall. Next week could be one of the best episodes of the year with a huge crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City (Queen’s) and a lot of title matches taking place, so that will make it feel like a big deal.
Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Rams. You can contact me using any of the methods below.