This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Chris Jericho defending the ROH World Title against Bryan Danielson while Pac put the All-Atlantic Title on the line against Orange Cassidy in the main event.
I thought I was going to go to this episode of Dynamite in Toronto (over two hours away from home for me), but I ended up staying home. Some plans changed. I’ll catch AEW in person at some point down the road. The good news for AEW is it was a pretty good crowd that was much bigger than the week before for their first Dynamite outside of the US. Just for clarification, this show was in the smaller arena in Toronto and I think they had around 7,000 people there. The bigger arena (Scotiabank Arena) it holds nearly 20,000 for Raptors/Maple Leafs games and WWE had about 16,000 there in August.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #158 at the Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario. 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 and you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show along with Taz and Tony Schiavone.
The newest member of the broadcast team Renee Paquette (the wife of Jon Moxley) appeared on the stage to welcome us to the show. Renee welcomed us to AEW Dynamite. Renee introduced Christian Cage for an interview. The fans gave Renee a great ovation since she’s from Toronto and it was her AEW debut.
Analysis: I’m happy for Renee joining AEW. I don’t know if it’s necessarily needed because they have a lot of backstage interviewers, but she’s better than the ones they have. Frankly, I’m surprised it took so long to get her to sign. She travels a lot with her husband Moxley already (they might be getting private jet treatment from AEW too), they can bring their young daughter with them and that’s a good thing for the family. I have known her since before her run in WWE when she was hosting Right After Wrestling on TV here in Canada.
Let’s Hear from Christian Cage
The announcers insulted Christian (with his right arm in a sling) immediately calling him a hated man. Christian said it felt great to be back in Toronto and as the fans of not only the face of Toronto, but the country of Canada, he’ll guarantee a victory tonight. Christian said that this guarantee is 100% like the Toronto Maple Leafs losing in the first round of the playoffs. The fans booed and reacted to that. Christian introduced Luchasaurus.
Analysis: It took less than two minutes for the Maple Leafs insult. I knew that was coming for some cheap heat although it is true because if you know Maple Leafs history they haven’t been out of the first round for like 20 years, so it’s been a long time.
Luchasaurus vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry
The fans were solidly behind Jungle Boy for his entrance. Boy attacked with a dropkick, Luchasaurus sent him to the apron and Boy dropkicked Luchasaurus into the ropes. Christian joined commentary and quickly insulted my Toronto Blue Jays for choking in the MLB Playoffs last week. Boy jumped to the floor leading to an uppercut, which is a Christian move. Boy went for a leaping attack, Luchasaurus caught him and hit a German Suplex. Boy was seated on the top rope, so Luchasaurus punched him off the top rope onto the apron to the floor. Luchasaurus set up a table at ringside, Luchasaurus sent Boy into the ring post and broke the referee’s count that didn’t exist anyway. Boy avoided a punch, Boy wrenched on the right arm against the ring post and Boy kicked the arm. Luchasaurus sent Boy into the barricade. Luchasaurus did a hard whip into the barricade again. I think the referee counted maybe for one moment while they were on the floor for about two minutes. Anyway, they went to a picture-in-picture break.
The match returned with Luchasaurus going for a shoulder tackle, Boy missed it and Luchasaurus hit the turnbuckle. They were in front of the table with Boy hitting a hurricanrana into the ring post. They were on the apron that was in front of the table and Jungle Boy and Boy jumped over the top with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb through the table on the floor. Christian: “That should be a disqualification.” (Correct.) Excalibur: “Well it was your man that put the table there.” (So what?) Taz said that wild. Luchasaurus looked back while he was going through the table to make sure he hit it right, which he did. Boy sent Luchasaurus back in while looking at Christian walk towards the ring. Luchasaurus with a clothesline followed by a sitout slam off the shoulders. They fought on the turnbuckle, Boy set up Luchasaurus upside down and Luchasaurus used his legs to send Boy into the mat. Luchasaurus hit a Buckle Bomb into the clothesline followed by a left-handed Chokeslam (because his right arm was hurting) for a two count. Luchasaurus went for a slam, but Boy countered it into a Crucifix Bomb into a pin for two. Boy teased a Killswitch, Luchasaurus fought out of it and Boy did a Poison Rana spiking Luchasaurus into the mat. Boy hit a Killswitch (Christian’s finisher) for a two count. Boy went for the Snare Trap, Luchasaurus was able to get to the ropes and Christian was helping too. Boy left the ring to stare at Christian on the floor. Boy was on the top rope, Christian distracted and Luchasaurus hit a one-armed slam off the top. Luchasaurus hit a slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Luchasaurus
Analysis: ***1/2 A great match between former tag team partners. A bit of a slow start, but then it picked up. That’s another loss for Jungle Boy against one of his former allies like he lost to Christian Cage at All Out because of Luchasaurus getting involved. It should lead to Boy getting a big win at some point in the future. The problem with AEW is they make the referees look like the biggest idiots far too often. By breaking a table in a match, that’s using a weapon. It should be a DQ like Christian said. I get that in WWE Randy Orton slams people on the table, but it’s not breaking the table, so that’s like using the steel steps. I think when you break a table, that’s blatantly using a weapon and should be a DQ. In AEW, though, they won’t explain it or assume people will care. The referee Rick Knox also doesn’t count wrestlers out of the ring consistently, so that looks bad too. What I’m saying is you shouldn’t even book a table bump spot during a regular match. Anyway, the action was good. Next time just book a Street Fight and you can work the weapon spots into the match.
Ethan Page and Stokely Hathaway were interviewed by Renee Paquette. Matt Hardy and Private Party were there. Hathaway was with Jose The Assistant as well with Hathaway saying that The Firm purchased Private Party’s contract. Hardy wasn’t happy that The Firm bought Private Party’s contract. Ethan suggested a match against Kassidy on Rampage saying if Kassidy wins then Private Party are free from their contracts. Ethan said that when he wins, The Firm also owns Matt Hardy’s contract too. Hardy told Kassidy that he’s got this.
Analysis: This company loves the “wrestler contracts belong to somebody other than the company” story. They did it with Wardlow for years. They’ve done it with the many groups they have. I guess in this case they had to because Andrade El Idolo will be gone for a while. Anyway, Ethan Page is the most poorly booked guy in the whole company, so at least he gets a Rampage match.
The Factory’s QT Marshall was in the ring with Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solo were in the ring. Marshall mocked the name WarJoe since it was just combining the names of Wardlow and Samoa Joe, so that led to Wardlow and Joe making their entrance.
WarJoe (Wardlow & Samoa Joe) vs. Nick Comoroto & QT Marshall (w/Aaron Solo)
Wardlow is the TNT Champion while Joe is the ROH TV Champion. Solo was tossed out of the ring quickly. Joe with an atomic drop, kick and senton splash on Marshall. Joe headbutted Nick out of the ring. Marshall tried a move off the ropes, but Joe moved out of the way, which drew a pop. Wardlow tagged in with a headbutt on Marshall followed by a wind-up lariat. Wardlow with two belly-to-belly suplexes on Nick. When Nick charged, Wardlow hit him with a spinebuster. Joe tagged in, Wardlow hit a Senton Bomb that barely connected and Joe did the Rear Naked Choke for the submission win after about three minutes.
Winners by submission: WarJoe (Wardlow & Samoa Joe)
Analysis: *1/2 A squash match to put over the dominant faces Wardlow and Joe. It was pretty simple and as you would expect for a match like this.
Post match, Wardlow hit Marshall with a Powerbomb. Wardlow wanted to do more, but they were interrupted by Prince Nana of The Embassy. Brian Cage said that nobody wants to see Wardlow hit Powerbombs on Marshall and the fans booed. Cage trashed FTR as well while wondering where they were and said he wouldn’t even let them into Canada. That led to FTR making their entrance. Amazing how that works. Big pop for FTR, who walked out there with their three sets of Tag Team Titles.
The reaction for FTR was so loud that Dax Harwood had to let it die down a bit. Harwood said that he has the perfect partner to team with them, he’s the pinnacle of professional wrestling and that led to Shawn Spears making his return after a long layoff. I don’t remember the last time he was on AEW TV, but he is from Ontario so it was close enough to his hometown of St. Catharines. Spears tossed Solo into the ring so FTR hit Solo with a Big Rig. That ended the segment.
Analysis: It was a good spot to bring back Spears because he was in his home country where he would be cheered by the crowd. They teased the “perfect ten” gimmick he had in NXT. I’m so glad that FTR got such a loud reaction because they are so talented and I know my fellow Canadian fans appreciate that kind of greatness.
Chris Jericho, Angelo Parker and Matt Menard were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Where’s Renee? Just use her. Parker did a calm promo while Menard did his over the top yelling like he was Brian Knobbs or something. Chris Jericho said that last week, Bryan Danielson forced Jericho to hurt his brother Daniel Garcia. Jericho said that Garcia wasn’t returning his calls. Tony mentioned that Jericho cheated. Jericho said he is the Lionheart, he’ll outwrestle and outfight Danielson and he’ll leave still the ROH World Champion.
Swerve Strickland made his entrance. The Acclaimed made their entrance with Billy Gunn. Max Caster made a reference to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Toronto Maple Leafs best player Auston Matthews as well. “Scissor Me, Daddy Ass” was over as a phrase as usual.
Billy Gunn vs. Swerve Strickland
The fans sang “oh, scissor me, daddy” to the tune of Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. When Billy took off his shirt, Taz referenced the “office furniture” line that Corey Graves said on Raw about Billy in reference to the “scissor” thing. Well played by Taz. Gunn hit a running shoulder tackle, then he ran the ropes, did a leapfrog and hit another shoulder tackle. Swerve to the apron, he hit a back elbow and a dropkick to the leg.
They did a spot where Gunn tried a suplex, but Swerve sent him out of the ring. Swerve jumped onto Gunn’s injured left knee on the floor. I think Gunn said “shit” when Swerve landed. Gunn came back with the power as he hit forearms to the head followed by a Jackhammer slam. Gunn teased a “suck it” gesture, but then he did a scissor gesture. Gunn lifted the left knee, so Swerve wrenched the knee and hit a flatliner into the mat. Swerve jumped of the top with a Swerve Stomp for a two count. Gunn went for a full nelson slam styles move, but Swerve countered it and landed on top near the ropes. Swerve held onto the ropes for the pinfall win with the referee not seeing the rope grab. It went about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Billy Gunn
Analysis: ** It was a slow-paced match, which is probably a good thing for a 58-year-old like Billy Gunn. Yes, he looks like he’s in great shape, but I don’t need to see more Billy Gunn matches. Anyway, it was the right call by Swerve to get the win even though it was cheap.
The Acclaimed was in the ring with Gunn. Mark Sterling and Tony Nese interrupted with Tony saying that they had a document from the greatest country in the world, the United States of America. Sterling said that he trademarked the phrase “scissor me” so he gets the money from their t-shirt. Sterling dared them to do the “scissor” thing. Sterling said he’ll work with them on this, but until then “Scissor me, Tony Nese.” They did the scissor thing and the fans booed.
Analysis: It’s a lame storyline with a lawyer guy trademarking terms, but it gets heat and the fans love The Acclaimed, so it’s fine because it should lead to The Acclaimed winning a match. I assume it leads to The Acclaimed beating Nese/Josh Woods to get the trademark back.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman was about to be interviewed by Alex Marvez, but Stokely Hathaway interrupted. MJF didn’t like Stokely interrupting this interview or last week when he got involved. MJF told Hathaway to get out of his shot. MJF spoke about how he has a dark past with William Regal and he’s not afraid to tell the story. MJF said that at a very young age, he had to learn that nice guys finish last. MJF said he knows everybody in the locker room hates him and that makes a large part of the audience. MJF said that he has no choice but to be the bad guy while saying that he punches himself in the face. MJF said “tough shit” because he doesn’t like himself either. MJF said that he’s going to become champion because he’s got the chip and he’s the man that’s a generational talent.
Analysis: Great promo from MJF as usual. I really hope they don’t turn him babyface although it might be hard to resist in the long term because the fans will love him as soon as he changes his ways.
Tony Schiavone was in the ring saying Toronto had the greatest wrestling fans in the world. Way to lie, Tony. You like American cities more. It’s okay. I still think you’re cool. Tony introduced the AEW World Champion Jon Moxley for some promo time.
Let’s Hear from Jon Moxley…and “Hangman” Adam Page
Jon Moxley made his entrance from the back part of the arena with the AEW World Title in his hands. Moxley got a huge pop as usual. Moxley defends the AEW World Title against “Hangman” Adam Page next Tuesday (a special Tuesday Dynamite due to the MLB Playoffs on TBS next Wednesday) on Dynamite in Moxley’s hometown of Cincinnati. Moxley talked about how great it was to be in Toronto after three years of AEW. Since Moxley married a Torontonian he should like the city.
Moxley said for much of the three years, he has been the AEW World Champion. Moxley spoke about how they have come in different shapes and sizes to try to knock him off the mountain. Moxley said being World Champion isn’t easy. Moxley talked about how you live in pain, everybody wants to see you fall and some people self-destruct, some faster than others (I’d start a “CM Punk” chant there). Moxley said that he doesn’t have the luxury of being anxious, having fear or doubt. Moxley talked about how you have to be ruthless and indiscriminate. Moxley said he loved his job, so that brings him to the cowboy “Hangman” Adam Page.
The former AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page joined Moxley in the ring. Hangman told Moxley that whatever he has to say to him, he wants Moxley to say it to his face. Hangman said that Moxley already said that he respected Hangman as a wrestler and a person while adding that coming from Moxley, that meant the world to him. Hangman said he respects who Moxley is in the ring and outside the ring too. Hangman said that Moxley is a hell of a champion, a father and a husband. They showed MJF seated in a press box with the casino chip with the fans staring up at him. Hangman said he didn’t like Moxley calling him a “nice kid.” Moxley said that’s exactly what he thinks about Hangman. Moxley said if Hangman gets the shot to take Moxley out one week from now in Cincinnati, he doesn’t think Hangman has the guts to pull the trigger. Hangman talked about failing to win the Trios Tag Team Titles while saying that his friends have disappeared and his old friends have disappeared (hey Young Bucks and Kenny Omega). Hangman said he is depressed but he’s still here. Hangman said he’s 31 years old, a former World Champion, a former Tag Team Champion and he’s watching family members put into the ground while bringing new life into the world like Moxley. Hangman talked about being a husband, a father and he keeps coming back because he’s a man…dammit. Page was punching himself in the head. If Moxley did that, he’d start bleeding. Sorry, I can’t resist. The fans were cheering the passion shown by Hangman while MJF was eating some popcorn. Hangman said he knows what he has to do in Cincinnati and he didn’t care if Moxley’s cousins, sister and mom are there (it is Moxley’s hometown) because he’s going to get that AEW World Title. Hangman gave Moxley his word: “I will be the next AEW World Champion.” The fans were chanting “MJF” as Hangman said that is his word. Hangman said unlike MJF, he wanted to tell Moxley that face to face and man to man. Hangman bumped into Moxley on the way out. They had a staredown. Hangman left the ring to end it.
Analysis: I thought that was an outstanding promo from Page. The reason why he was so fired up was because Moxley called him a “kid” so Page responded with a lot of passion to say that he was a man that was going to keep fighting and regain the AEW World Title. That was one of the best Hangman promos I’ve heard or at least one of the best in a long time because he doesn’t always get a lot of promo time. Hangman did an awesome job. Moxley did well before that too, but that’s the norm for him. That should be a great Moxley/Page match next week. I’ll take Moxley to retain the title.
A video aired about the Chris Jericho-Bryan Danielson match up next. Jericho mentioned it was his first match in Canada in five years. They showed some ROH clips of Danielson when he was the ROH World Champion and Jericho talked about how he was going to pillage the legend of Danielson while Danielson said he’ll win the war.
Bryan Danielson made his entrance with Ring of Honor’s announcer Bobby Cruise doing the introduction. ROH play-by-play guy Ian Riccaboni and William Regal were on commentary since Regal was supporting Danielson. “Lionheart” Chris Jericho made his entrance as the ROH World Champion with Angelo Parker and Matt Menard. Jericho walked out to the Lionheart song instead of “Judas” so there was no singalong.
ROH World Championship: Chris Jericho (w/Angelo Parker & Matt Menard) vs. Bryan Danielson
Jericho wanted the handshake, Bryan kicked the hand and Bryan got a rollup. Regal said that Danielson believes the ROH World Title was the most prestigious title he held for years. I think that’s a major stretch to say that, but when you’re not in WWE, you should say that. It’s certainly not the title that made Bryan the most money. Bryan sent Jericho out of the ring and hit a suicide dive onto Jericho. The fans were singing the “Judas” song even though it wasn’t playing. Back into the ring, Bryan worked over Jericho with punches in the corner. Jericho got back into it with his own version of ten punches in the corner. Jericho set up Bryan on the top rope leading to a top rope hurricanrana. The fans applauded that move.
The match returned with Jericho bouncing off the ropes, Bryan ducking his head and Jericho hitting a DDT. Bryan to the apron, Jericho hit the springboard dropkick he’s been doing 30 years and Jericho hit a cross body block on Bryan on the floor. Jericho sent Bryan into the barricade and back into the ring. Bryan set up Jericho on the top rope leading to a double underhook suplex off the top for two. Bryan went for the LeBell Lock, but Jericho countered it into a Walls of Jericho that looked more like a traditional Boston Crab submission. Bryan fought out of it leading to forearms to the face. Bryan applied his own Boston Crab, which drew boos from the crowd because they wanted to see their fellow Canadian Jericho get the win. Jericho countered that submission into a cradle pin for two, but Bryan came back with a kick to the head for two. Bryan with elbows to the head, Jericho countered Bryan move with fireman’s carry slam that looked like the Attitude Adjustment by John Cena. Jericho went for moonsault, Bryan moved and Bryan jumped off the top with a knee to the face. Bryan went up top again with a jumping knee to the face. Bryan jumped off the top again, but this time Jericho hit a Codebreaker (double knees) for two. They got into a chop fest, then they ran the ropes a few times and Jericho shoved Bryan into the referee Paul Turner, who bumped to the floor. You could tell they were setting up for the spot because they talked to the referee. Bryan and Jericho did a double clothesline to knock them both down. Menard grabbed the ROH World Title and gave it to Jericho in the ring. Regal said he promised to Bryan that he would not get involved. Daniel Garcia, the ROH Pure Champion, got into the ring to take the title from Jericho. Bryan hit Jericho with a running knee. Garcia ran at Bryan with the ROH World Title and hit Bryan in the head with it. The fans cheered it even though it was a heel move supporting the heel Jericho, but Jericho was the face in front of this crowd. Jericho covered Bryan, referee Turner crawled back into the ring and counted the pinfall for Jericho. It went 15 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a good match, but not as technically great as their last two matches. I still enjoyed it a lot. In this case, it was more about furthering the angle with a cheap finish that fits Jericho’s character as a heel champion. The tainted finish takes it down a notch in terms of the match quality although I get why they did it in terms of the story with Garcia helping Jericho screw over Danielson.
Post match, Jericho hugged Garcia and celebrated with Menard and Parker to show that the Jericho Appreciation Society was united. The Blackpool Combat Club’s Claudio Castagnoli, Wheeler Yuta and William Regal checked on Bryan in the ring. Jericho left with his group.
Analysis: I always figured this story would see Garcia not turning babyface and end up helping Jericho. The Jericho Appreciation Society group hasn’t been around that long, so it made sense for Garcia to remain a heel. They can turn him face any time down the road. It should be more Garcia-Danielson matches, which is good for Garcia and lead to more awesome matches for them.
Nyla Rose was with Vickie Guerrero and Marina Shafir with Renee Paquette there to conduct an interview. Rose had the TBS Title that she stole from Jade Cargill. Anna Jay showed up saying that she wanted a match with Rose on Rampage. Vickie didn’t like it while Rose said she will whip Anna’s ass.
Analysis: They are both heels, so it’s hard to really like either woman in that scenario. I guess Jade Cargill got a vacation or something since she isn’t there to be mad about somebody stealing her title.
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. & Jamie Hayter (w/Rebel) vs. Toni Storm & Hikaru Shida
Storm is the Interim AEW Women’s Champion. Baker and Hayter have matching short shorts as part of their outfits, so that will make them popular as heels. Just saying. It feels like they have done this match recently. Shida shoved Hayter down to the mat. I think the crowd was cheering for Hayter, who unloaded on Shida with a hard chop. Shida hit a running dropkick. Storm worked over Hayter with punches to the back, then a running kick and a forearm smash in the corner. Baker held onto Storm’s leg so that Hayter could kick Storm to take control.
Shida worked over Baker with punches followed by a jumping knee. Hayter was on the apron, so Shida suplexed Hayter into the ring. Shida suplexed Baker onto Hayter as well. Shida with a double knee attack on Baker for a two count. Hayter went in illegally with a backbreaker on Shida, Storm with a bulldog on Shida and Baker hit a neckbreaker on Storm. Baker was handed the dreaded glove by Rebel, so Baker and Shida hit a double superkick. Hayter with a clothesline leading to Baker hitting a Stomp for two with Storm making the save. I think Hayter was in the ring for over one minute illegally. Storm hit a DDT on Baker and Shida hit an elbow on Baker. Storm with a Storm Zero piledriver and Hayter tackled Storm onto Shida to break up the pin. Shida hit an enziguri kick on Hayter to knock her out of the ring and Storm hit Hayter with a DDT on the floor. Baker went for the Lockjaw on Shida, but Shida shifted into a pin attempt for two. Shida with an elbow strike and a sitout slam. They did an exchange of pin attempts leading to Shida getting the pin while sitting on the shoulders for the win after 15 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Toni Storm & Hikaru Shida
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good tag team match that picked up after the break. Of course there was a lot of illegal action because it’s an AEW tag team match. The fans liked the action of course because it was a bunch of random moves, but the lack of psychology or trying to wrestle a normal tag team match is one of the most annoying things about AEW. Baker and Hayter didn’t have communication issues while Baker rarely gets beat, so it’s a bit newsworthy for that. The reason Shida got the win was to give her a title match against Storm next week. That’s why the finish made sense.
There was no sign of Saraya this week. You would think they would find ways to feature her every week since she debuted, but she wasn’t here.
This Friday on Rampage (taped on Thursday):
* Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. The Butcher & The Blade (w/The Bully). They showed a promo with Butcher, Blade and Bunny.
It was Pac vs. Orange Cassidy up next.
Orange Cassidy made his entrance for the main event to a pretty good pop. Excalibur talked about Pac’s reign as All-Atlantic Champion since he won it in June and Pac is also a Trios Tag Team Champion. They showed Pac using the hammer (that is used for the ringside bell) to beat Cassidy in a match and Pac used it to beat Pac’s friend Trent Beretta as well.
Analysis: I’ll give AEW credit for building this match up well with the hammer story because it’s not just a random title match. There’s a story with Cassidy looking for revenge.
All-Atlantic Championship: Pac vs. Orange Cassidy
Pac worked over Cassidy with strikes, a dropkick and a running kick in the corner. The fans chanted “freshly squeezed” for Orange. Pac put Orange’s hands in his pockets leading to Pac doing the comedy kicks while Orange sat there like an idiot with the hands in his pockets. Orange got back up with a dropkick, Pac to the floor and Orange tried a dive, but Pac caught him. Pac hit a Falcon Arrow on the floor. That led to a “holy shit” chant and a commercial.
During the break, Pac pulled Cassidy up the ramp. The inept referee Bryce Remsburg left the ring with them instead of counting them out of the ring. What’s the point of referees in AEW? They are made to look like fools. Pac gave Cassidy a Tombstone piledriver on the ramp, then he walked back into the ring with the referee. Cassidy rolled down the ramp towards the ring while the referee was counting. So why is he counting now instead of when Pac left the ring the first time? It’s AEW. They don’t explain things or try to use logic. Anyway, Orange got back in before the ten count. Pac applied the Brutalizer submission, but Orange got to the ropes to break it. Pac left the ring, referee Remsburg prevented him from grabbing the hammer and Remsburg said he’s going to be watching because he knows what happened last week. Orange hit a suicide dive onto Pac on the floor. Orange hit a dive onto Pac leading to a DDT on the floor. That was great. Back in the ring, Orange hit a DDT and Orange hit an Orange Punch for a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Cassidy went up top, Pac to the apron and Orange hit him with the Beach Break move on the apron. Back in the ring, Pac caught Orange in a Northern Lights Suplex along with a Brutalizer submission on the mat, but Orange managed to get to the ropes again. Pac had a bad cut on his right ear. Pac left the ring again, but Danhausen was there in an outfit where he was covered up. Danhausen took his hood/mask off and cursed Danhausen while Pac punched Danhausen in the face. Remsburg got in Pac’s face again while Pac had the hammer, so the referee took the hammer. While the referee was putting the hammer back, Pac got another hammer from under the ring. Pac charged with the hammer like a dumbass, so Orange punched him in the face. Orange had the hammer in his hand, the referee told him not to do it and Orange gave it to the referee. Pac got a rollup for two. Nice nearfall. Orange duked a charging Pac and hit the Orange Punch to the face. Orange hit the Orange Punch again for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy
Analysis: ***3/4 I enjoyed the match a lot for the most part. They did a nice job of telling the story with Pac going for the hammer again, but Danhausen was there to help Cassidy and that’s what led to Cassidy finding a way to win. I like Cassidy as a worker when he’s not doing the stupid pockets thing (I get why he does it, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it). It was also the second match on the show where the way they book the referees hurt the match again from a logical standpoint by not enforcing countout rules. Anyway, Pac is one of my favorite wrestlers in AEW, he knows how to tell a story in a match and he has the cool moves to go along with it as well. Orange’s comeback in the match was really well done, I liked the hammer spot tease and even that rollup from Pac for a two count. I don’t think the Orange Punch is a great finish because it’s just a skinny dude throwing a jumping punch, but it’s all in the sell and Pac sold it great.
Orange Cassidy celebrated the win while the announcers were so excited about it. Tony mentioned it was Orange’s first title in AEW after 68 wins. Yeah, all they had to do was create a title four months ago for him to win one. Orange got a hug from his Best Friends group Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta and Danhausen. They had some confetti falling from the sky while Excalibur shouted about what’s coming up in the future. End show.
Analysis: They treated it like a big deal, but it’s not an important title. This is like somebody in WCW winning the TV Title or somebody in WWE winning the European Title when they were a thing. That’s not even counting the fact that they already have a bunch of ROH Titles on the show that we are supposed to believe are more important than some of the AEW Titles. The importance of the All-Atlantic Title is not very high. I get why they treated it as a big moment and that’s fine with me.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Orange Cassidy/Pac
2. “Hangman” Adam Page
3. (tie) Jungle Boy/Luchasaurus
3. (tie) Chris Jericho/Bryan Danielson
This Week: 7.75 out of 10
Last Week: 8
It was great for an AEW show full of fun matches for most of the night. I think the first hour was average aside from the Luchasaurus/Jungle Boy match while the second hour was terrific better with three excellent matches. The title change with Orange Cassidy beating Pac was treated as a big moment even though I wouldn’t consider the All-Atlantic Title a big deal. Since it was Orange’s first title win in AEW, the announcers tried putting it over as some monumental achievement. To AEW’s credit, they had a good story going into the match, so that’s why it felt big when Orange won. The Jericho-Danielson match wasn’t as good as their last two matches, but it was a cheap finish to show that Daniel Garcia is still on Jericho’s side.
I still think they book matches that make referees look like fools far too often. I mention it throughout the review because I care and I think the product would be even better if they were smarter about how they do certain things in matches. You shouldn’t have a referee do a countout spot just to get a pop when the face slides in when you ignore the three minutes of action outside the ring where the referee isn’t counting at all. It doesn’t make logical sense. The women’s tag team match was good, but could have been structured better as I pointed out in the review.
That promo exchange between “Hangman” Adam Page and Jon Moxley to set up Moxley’s AEW World Title defense against Page next week was great. I thought Page did a nice job of making the point that he was insulted when Moxley called him a kid and Page talked about all he’s accomplished. Moxley should win next week in his hometown of Cincinnati, but it should also be an outstanding main event.
The announcers must have mentioned the “standing room only” crowd about 25 times. I’m not even being sarcastic. It was around 7,000 people, which is nice because it was almost triple last week in Washington (DC), but they repeated it so many times that it annoyed me. Here’s a tip for AEW: Do more shows in Canada now. Go to Montreal in a few months, try going to Vancouver and some of the other big Canadian cities. They should also go to Toronto every 3-4 months like they go to other big cities in the US. This was just the first show in front of a Canadian crowd and they were so loud, so it should lead to AEW thinking that they need to be in Canada instead of the same US cities repeatedly. Just saying. They should absolutely be planning UK shows in 2023 as well. I know COVID-19 travel restrictions made it tough the last couple of years, but now you can do it so they should.
Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.