This week’s AEW Dynamite featured Jon Moxley defending the World Title against Penta, Bryan Danielson taking on Sammy Guevara and more.
It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show along with Taz and Tony Schiavone.
It was “Judas” time to start the show with ROH World Champion Chris Jericho and ROH Pure Champion Daniel Garcia joined by fellow Jericho Appreciation Society members Angelo Parker, the yeller Matt Menard and Jake Hager in his purple hat that he really likes. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta of the Blackpool Combat Club were next joined by William Regal, who joined commentary.
Blackpool Combat Club – Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Jericho Appreciation Society – Chris Jericho & Daniel Garcia
Jericho did a middle finger gesture to the crowd to start the match. Claudio unleashed on Jericho with forearms and uppercuts. Garcia tagged in, so Claudio hit him with a backbreaker. Yuta tagged in for a double boot to the face followed by Yuta hitting a dropkick. Yuta with punches in the corner, the referee pulled Yuta back and Garcia hit a headbutt. Yuta came back with a body slam and a senton splash. All four guys were in the ring as Yuta and Claudio each did elbow smashes to their opponents, but Hager distracted the referee leading to Parker and Menard pulling their allies out of the ring. Claudio sent Jericho into the ring post and Yuta brought Garcia back into the ring. Claudio with an uppercut into a German Suplex by Yuta leading to a two count for Claudio. Garcia charged, Claudio tripped him up and Garcia broke free with kicks. Hager distracted Claudio, so Jericho hit his patented dropkick onto Claudio on the apron. That led to a picture-in-picture break.
Claudio showed off his power with a suplex on Garcia. Jericho tagged in, did a cheap shot on Yuta and Claudio blocked a Walls of Jericho attempt. Claudio hit an uppercut shot on Jericho. Yuta got the tag with a Superfly Splash off the top on Jericho for two. Yuta tackled Garcia, who went into the ring and Yuta clotheslined Garcia out of the ring. Yuta hit an Angle Slam-like move. When Claudio got back in, he went for a move off the ropes, but Jericho hit a Codebreaker for two. Yuta sent Garcia out of the ring leading to Yuta hitting a somersault dive onto three guys. Jericho had Floyd the bat, Claudio caught him and hit a Powerbomb. Claudio teased a swing, then Garcia jumped on Claudio’s back and Claudio did the Giant Swing to Jericho while Garcia was on Claudio’s shoulders. Claudio with a boot to knock Hager off the apron. Claudio did a bunch of moves to guys on the floor. Claudio jumped off the top with an uppercut on Jericho and a Neutralizer on Jericho for the pinfall win. It went about 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
Analysis: ***1/2 A fun match with Claudio getting a big win on Jericho, so it could lead to Claudio getting a shot at the ROH World Title. Claudio was absolutely on fire on offense in the last couple of minutes, so that was a cool way to see the match end. Jericho getting pinned like that is rare these days. I’m happy with the result because I thought Jericho’s team would win due to the guys on the floor. Yuta and Garcia are both talented young guys who will keep getting better working with talented vets like Claudio and Jericho.
Bryan Danielson was interviewed by Renee Paquette with Bryan saying he was frustrated about a bunch of things like Wheeler Yuta talking back to him last week and Bryan said he’s going to take out all of his frustration on Sammy Guevara. Yuta walked up to Bryan saying they just beat Garcia and Jericho. Claudio got in the middle of Bryan and Yuta telling them to calm down. Claudio said after Bryan’s match, they’re going to sit down together and discuss this like adults.
There was a video about The Elite trio of The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega. They showed clips of them talking along with highlights of them, but then it all faded out.
Analysis: There’s a sign that they are coming back soon from the suspension. After the show, it was reported that The Elite were backstage at Dynamite, which we posted about on TJR here.
The Jericho Appreciation Society group was together for an interview with Sammy Guevara. Chris Jericho complained about there being a bat in the ring when Claudio won the match and Tony mentioned that Jericho brought it into the ring. Jericho said he was doing an open challenge for ROH World Title next week. There were audio issues and Excalibur apologized them when the announcers were back on.
Analysis: I think it makes sense to do Jericho vs. Claudio again since Claudio just pinned Jericho this week.
Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee were up next in a match to earn a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles. FTR were their opponents with the crowd giving them a huge ovation. The Gunn Club brothers were at ringside with some cardboard belts mocking FTR
AEW Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) made their entrance to watch the match on some chairs on the stage. The fans sang “oh scissor me daddy” for The Acclaimed and “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn.
FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland)
Swerve and Wheeler did some mat wrestling while exchanging moves and Swerve got a headscissors takedown. Harwood tagged in with a suplex along with a leg drop. Lee made the tag as the fans sang “oh bask in his glory” for him. Harwood with a shoulder tackle on Lee, then Wheeler tagged in and FTR wanted Big Rig, but that wasn’t happening. Lee did a leapfrog over both guys (wow!), then Lee ran the ropes and hit a cross body block. That was such a great spot by Lee. They went to a break.
Lee kept Wheeler from tagging out and Lee drove Wheeler into the turnbuckle. Wheeler avoided a charging Lee. Swerve got the tag, Wheeler with a back body drop and Harwood worked over Swerve with chops. Harwood kept on delivering the chops, Lee went into the ring illegally and Harwood chopped him a few times. Harwood dumped Lee out of the ring and Harwood got a rollup. Swerve got a couple of rollups too. Swerve slipped on the ropes, then Harwood caught him and got a two count of that. Wheeler tagged back in, FTR each hit forearms, Harwood with a Powerbomb and Wheeler hit a Dragon Suplex for two. Swerve and Wheeler exchanged uppercuts, Harwood with an uppercut, Lee tagged in and Lee/Swerve hit a double team forearm to the head. Swerve kicked Harwood down on the floor. Lee launched Wheeler into a Powerbomb by Swerve and Lee covered for a two count. Wheeler with a hurricanrana on Lee, Swerve with a boot to the face and Harwood into the ring illegally to catch a leaping Swerve. Harwood caught Swerve, but Swerve got a headscissors and Harwood hit a Powerbomb. Lee with a Pounce on Harwood to knock him out of the ring. Lee with a headbutt led to Lee landing on top of Wheeler for a two count. Lee was seated on the turnbuckle, Harwood was back in with chops and Wheeler saved Harwood from a move by Lee. Harwood wanted a superplex, he hit the superplex and Wheeler hit a splash off the top onto Lee’s back for one…two…no. That was an incredible nearfall. Swerve pulled Wheeler out of the ring, then Lee held Harwood and Swerve kicked Harwood in the head. Wheeler back in illegally, he kicked Swerve and FTR hit the Big Rig double team move on Lee for two because Swerve made the save for his partner. Swerve sent Wheeler into the barricade. Lee was back up, Harwood moved and Lee hit his partner by accident. Swerve with a low blow on Harwood. Gunn Club was holding Wheeler on the floor. Lee hit the move once known as the Big Bang Catastrophe which is a slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win. They got 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland)
Analysis: **** That was an awesome match. It was a cheap win because of Swerve’s low blow, which the referee didn’t see and Lee didn’t see it either, which is key because Lee is a noble babyface while Swerve does some heelish tactics. If they follow up on it right then Lee should be mad at Swerve about cheating to win. I thought the nearfalls in this match were really good. Yes, it was the typical AEW tag team match with the usual illegal man offense. I did enjoy most of it. Normally FTR matches have less of the illegal stuff because Harwood and Wheeler are traditional wrestlers, but even they did it in this match. I thought FTR was going to win, so the result is a bit of a surprise to me. At least they had a creative story for it.
After the match, Gunn Club attacked FTR, but The Acclaimed made the save and Gunn Club ran away.
Saraya was interviewed by Renee Paquette with Britt Baker interrupting before it could get going. Renee said if they want to talk about this then they’ll do it properly and Britt left. So much for that.
It’s MJF time up next.
Let’s Hear from Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Maxwell Jacob Friedman was introduced by Renee Paquette for an interview on the page. Renee is married to MJF’s opponent at Full Gear, the AEW World Champion Jon Moxley. The fans chanted “MJF” as Max said that the “devil has arrived in Virginia?” MJF asked if they are devil worshippers leading to cheers. Renee asked MJF about facing Moxley, so MJF did a Moxley walk on the stage along with a Moxley-style promo. MJF told Virginia loved them…even for all their shortcomings. MJF said that one word comes to mind when it comes to Moxley and that word is “mid.” Renee said you can’t just say “with all due respect” and then insult somebody, so MJF said it to her while telling her to shut her mouth. MJF said he won’t wrestle the match relatively clean. MJF said that he didn’t like William Regal alleging that MJF was unable to win without the Dynamite Diamond Ring. MJF said for one night only, he promised not to use the DDR at Full Gear because he doesn’t need it. MJF said he has taken every grudge and put it on his shoulder. MJF screamed about how at Full Gear he’s fighting every sorry scumbag that ever told him that he wasn’t good enough. MJF said that he will shove the chip off his shoulder and shove it down everybody’s throat when he becomes the AEW World Champion. MJF said that he was a generational talent.
Stokely Hathaway interrupted the Moxley interview saying he understands that MJF wants Moxley 100% at Full Gear, so they won’t lay a hand on him. MJF said that he’ll cut Stokely some slack. MJF said he wants Moxley at 100% so there are no excuses at Full Gear when MJF beats them. MJF told Stokely not to lay a hand on him or even look at him or Stokely is fired.
MJF continued his promo ending it with “super over catchphrase” and he said it: “Because my name is Maxwell Jacob Friedman because I’m better than you and you know it.” That was it.
Analysis: That was a babyface promo from MJF. It felt like he said Virginia about ten times to keep sucking up the crowd. I kept waiting for him to insult the crowd more and while he did rip on them a bit, it wasn’t that much. This would also set up something for later.
The Kingdom trio of Matt Taven, Mike Bennett and Maria did a promo. Taven said he was coming for Wardlow’s TNT Title with Taven saying he won every title in ROH. Wardlow said that when he’s in the ring with Wardlow, none of that matters. Wardlow said that Taven will be the next casualty of the Powerbomb Symphony and Wardlow wins. That’s on Rampage this Friday.
Analysis: I’ll pick Wardlow. The Kingdom trio are signed to AEW contracts, so that’s official now.
Sammy Guevara made his entrance with his wife Tay Melo as they shared a kiss on the stage. Bryan Danielson made his entrance with William Regal, who was back on commentary.
Bryan Danielson vs. Sammy Guevara (w/Tay Melo)
Sammy hit a jumping knee to the face followed by a shoulder tackle and a kick to the head. Sammy hit a springboard Cutter off the top for two. No reaction for the two count. Bryan with a German Suplex attempt, Sammy landed on his feet and Bryan managed to catch Sammy’s legs going for a move, so Bryan trapped Sammy on the mat. Bryan trapped Sammy’s arms legs in a surfboard submission move with Bryan unleashing some forearms to the back. Bryan worked over Sammy with uppercuts. Bryan with chops, then Sammy with some forearms to the head – those look way too silly to me and Bryan hit Sammy with a hard elbow. Bryan with kicks to the body along with an uppercut to the chest. Bryan stomped on Sammy’s left elbow leading to a butterfly suplex into an armbar attempt, but Sammy got to the ropes. Bryan mounted Sammy with some punches to the head. Sammy rolled out of the ring, so Bryan hit a running dropkick onto Sammy on the floor. Bryan jumped off the apron, Sammy with a knee and then Bryan had to wait there for Sammy to hit a moonsault onto a standing Bryan on the floor. That led to a picture-in-picture break.
Sammy was on offense so he tried Bryan’s kick routine to the chest. Bryan stopped that with a hard palm strike followed by kicks to the body along with chops. Bryan ran the ropes leading to a running clothesline. Sammy with a kick to the chest, then he charged and Bryan did a back body drop over the top to the floor. Bryan hit a suicide dive with an elbow. Bryan up top leading to a shotgun missile dropkick. Bryan charged leading to Sammy hitting a Spanish Fly slam for a two count. Cool spot. Sammy went up top, took way too long and Bryan tripped up Sammy on the turnbuckle. Bryan went for a top rope belly-to-back suplex, Sammy landed on his feet and Bryan avoided some flip attempts by Sammy leading to Bryan to locking on the LeBell Lock submission. The fans chanted for Sammy to tap, but Sammy got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Bryan went up top, Sammy met him there and Sammy hit a Spanish Fly off the top for a two count. Sammy did some classic face biting. Sammy went for the GTH, Bryan got out of it and hit a reverse rana spiking Sammy into the mat. Bryan hit the running Busaiko Knee. Bryan held the arms leading to stomps to the head and Bryan applied the Triangle Choke submission. Bryan elbowed Sammy, who passed out, so the referee called for the bell after 15 minutes.
Winner by submission: Bryan Danielson
Analysis: ***3/4 That was an excellent match. Bryan needed a win after two straight losses, so the result made sense to me. The Spanish Fly moves by Sammy were both great when he did it in the ring and off the top rope. I think they could have had more spots in the match with Sammy getting some more nearfalls. Bryan delivered a beating with all the strikes he delivered, Sammy took it as best he could and Bryan just wearing him down enough to where Bryan knocked him out for the win. Bryan remains my favorite wrestler in this company, who hopefully gets an interesting story soon.
Rey Fenix and Alex Abrahantes were interviewed by Renee Paquette. They talked about how Penta was going to be a double champion and Alex said that Fenix should go after the All-American Championship. Christian Cage and Luchasaurus walked into the picture with Christian saying Luchasaurus deserves the next shot. Orange Cassidy walked in with his All-Atlantic Championship saying next week, let’s do this so the triple threat is on.
Jamie Hayter (w/Britt Baker & Rebel) vs. Riho
Hayter is cheered fairly well even though she’s sort of a heel based on who she is associated with. Hayter used her size advantage to run her over. Riho bridged up to get out of a pin and Riho hit a headscissors. Riho into the ropes, Baker grabbed the foot, the referee Rick Knox saw it and did nothing. Riho sent Hayter out of the ring leading to Riho jumping off the top with a cross body block on Hayter on the floor. Hayter barely sold that as she tackled Riho into the apron and the barricade. Hayter slammed Riho on the apron. Hayter hit two straight suplexes into pin attempts for two counts. Hayter put her knee on the throat leading to a picture-in-picture break.
Riho avoided a clothesline with a cartwheel leading to a dropkick. Riho rolled through a move attempt leading to Riho stomping on Hayter’s stomach. Riho hit a running knee in the corner, then Rebel was on the apron and Riho knocked her down. Riho sent up Hayter in the ropes, Hayter blocked a kick attempt and Riho countered a move leading to a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Riho went up top, she jumped off with a cross body block and Hayter rolled through with a brainbuster for two. Hayter lifted up Riho, who landed on top of Hayter with a cross body block onto the mat. I don’t know if a 90-pound woman landing on you can hurt, but Hayter sold it. Riho hit a hurricanrana, Rebel distracted the referee and Baker grabbed Riho’s foot. Riho managed to come back with a Code Red (sunset flip Powerbomb) for two. Hayter avoided a move and Hayter hit a backbreaker. Riho came back with a Dragon Suplex for two. Riho got a rollup for two, but Hayter came back with a boot to the head. Hayter hit a ripcord lariat for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jamie Hayter
Analysis: *** A good win for Hayter, who should probably win a title within the next few months because she is well-liked by the crowd. Riho does a nice job with the babyface comeback while Hayter used her power advantage to hit some big moves. That Code Red nearfall by Riho was great. The final few minutes had a few nearfalls that worked really well, so I liked that part of the match. Hayter winning was the right move here.
Toni Storm made her entrance with the Interim AEW World Title and she held up the title on the stage. That led to a long-distance staredown with Hayter, Baker and Rebel.
Eddie Kingston was interviewed by Renee Paquette, who mentioned that Eddie’s friends were concerned about his behavior. Eddie said he’s doing great and he’s having a blast. Eddie said let’s stop worrying about him. Eddie said that Jon Moxley will have a hard time with Penta, he thinks Jon will take it and “everybody else, leave me alone.”
Analysis: That honestly felt like they just told Eddie Kingston he gets one minute to talk and say whatever, so that’s what he did. There wasn’t much substance to it.
This Friday on AEW Rampage:
* Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Matt Menard & Angelo Parker. I don’t think Menard and Parker win TV matches.
* Madison Rayne vs. Tay Melo.
* TNT Championship: Wardlow (c) vs. Matt Taven.
Next week on AEW Dynamite:
* Darby Allin vs. Jay Lethal. Allin did a black-and-white promo about how Sting hasn’t been there in quite some time. Allin said he told Sting he wasn’t happy, so then Sting reminded Darby of who he is, so Darby said he’s going to prove himself by himself. Allin said Jay Lethal claims to have a friend that knows Darby’s biggest weakness, so Darby wanted Jay to bring that friend to Dynamite next week. A promo was shown from Lethal, Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh. It was a classic heel promo warning Allin.
* Daddy Ass Birthday Bash.
* All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Luchasaurus vs. Rey Fenix.
* Renee Paquette sits down with Saraya and Britt Baker.
* Chris Jericho vs. A Former ROH World Champion.
The main event between Moxley and Penta was next.
Penta El Zero Miedo made his entrance as one of the Trios Tag Team Champions and he was joined by Alex Abrahantes. The popular AEW World Champion Jon Moxley made his entrance in the back part of the arena and he walked into the crowd with the fans cheering for him.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Penta El Zero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes)
The top five rankings have gone away, and they just give title matches to random wrestlers now. That’s fine with me because the ranking system was very flawed to begin with.
There was plenty of time left in the show. They did the “throw punches and don’t try to block anything” spot that Moxley does in every match and frankly, a lot of AEW wrestlers do it. They exchanged some moves with counters, then Penta did his “zero fear” taunt leading to Stone Cold Moxley doing the middle finger salute. Penta with a superkick that sent Moxley out of the ring. Penta jumped over the top with a somersault dive onto Moxley. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Penta charged at Moxley, who hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex into the turnbuckle. Moxley with punches, some face biting, Penta with a kick, Moxley with a boot and Penta hit a Slingblade neckbreaker for two. Penta went for a move, Moxley got out of it and hit a Cutter. Moxley with a piledriver for two. Moxley applied a crossface submission, then he transitioned into some elbow smashes to the head and Penta fought out of it. Penta had the right arm hooked and pulled back on the left arm/shoulder of Moxley for a two count. The announcers mentioned a bunch of possible injuries that can happen. Penta with a kick to the head with a loud leg slap and then Penta did it again while they were on the apron. Moxley blocked a Destroyer on the steps and Moxley hit a DDT on the steps. Moxley hit the King Kong lariat on Penta for two. Penta took a flat back bump instead of the flip bump that Adan Page did last week when Page landed on his head and got a bad concussion. Moxley worked over Penta with elbows by the turnbuckle, then Penta broke free with a kick to the knee and Penta hit a double foot stomp off the ropes. Penta hit the Fear Factor piledriver for two. Excalibur was screaming about the nearfall. Penta ran the ropes, Moxley hit him with a kick to the gut followed by a Paradigm Shift. Moxley hit the Death Rider for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: ***1/2 A Jon Moxley match where he didn’t bleed? That’s rare. This was a very good match as expected. Did I think there would be a title change? Of course not. I doubt anybody watching this show believed there would be a title change, but that’s okay. It was a competitive match. I didn’t love the finish because Penta hit the Fear Factor piledriver for his best nearfall of the match, then Moxley barely sold the move and hit two moves easily to win the match. I like it better when people sell before going right into a finish. It just felt rushed to me.
There was still some time left in the show, so you know there was an angle coming. W. Morrissey was in the ring and hit Moxley with a boot to the face. The other members of The Firm went into the ring – it was Ethan Page, Austin & Colten Gunn and Lee Moriarty. Stokely Hathaway walked into the ring to join his group. They easily beat up Moxley with some basic moves. There was some security jobbers that went out there and they were beaten up easily. There was a backstage shot of the Blackpool Combat Club’s locker room showing they were locked in the room, so the idea is that The Firm locked them in the room. Moxley tried a comeback, but Ethan hit Moxley with a boot to the face.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman appeared at the top of the ramp. MJF was conflicted about what he should do and then he walked backstage. MJF ran down to the ring and pushed The Firm guys back. MJF yelled at Stokely that he’s fired. MJF said something to Moxley, then MJF turned around and Ethan decked MJF with a boot to the face. The Firm stomped on MJF with Stokely even stomping on him. The Gunns took MJF’s shirt off. Ethan gave MJF an Ego’s Edge launching Powerbomb across the ring. Tony Schiavone said that The Firm should be fined and maybe suspended. What? These announcers act like they haven’t seen pro wrestling in their lives and say the stupidest things. There was still a bit of time left, so Morrissey sent MJF out of the ring. MJF tried to fight back, but he was beaten down again. A referee was there to tell them how much time was left, so Morrissey gave MJF a Chokeslam through the table at ringside. MJF was out on the table while Excalibur was shilling about what was coming up on Rampage. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: That solidifies the babyface turn for MJF. I guess he’ll keep doing promos referencing the city and state he’s in for more cheap pops. It also meant that MJF’s association with The Firm lasted less than two months because they helped him with the ladder match at All Out and now they are against him. Morrissey really hasn’t been used much as a wrestler since joining AEW, so maybe this will be the start of him getting more TV time. I also hope it means more of my fellow Canadian Ethan Page, who is the most poorly booked wrestler in this company based on how talented he is. I know Ethan and MJF worked a lot in the indies prior to AEW. I can see them having a match on Dynamite perhaps before Full Gear.
If it was up to me, I would have kept MJF a heel for much longer. I get why they did it because the fans cheer for MJF. I just think he still had more to do as a heel.
UPDATE: I had a reader point out that this could all just be a ploy to set up MJF’s title win. MJF has been talking about wanting to win clean and then he takes a beating from his friends to sell it. Then they help him win the title from Moxley in an extremely cheap manner. Could happen. Then again, this could be the MJF babyface turn. I don’t know. That’s why we watch and keep watching.
Three Stars of the Show
1. FTR – They didn’t win, but they’re the stars.
2. Bryan Danielson
3. Jon Moxley
This Week: 8.25 out of 10
Last Week: 7.25
I thought it was a great episode of Dynamite this week. There were some awesome matches including the Swerve In Our Glory/FTR tag team match that was at least unpredictable in the result. Bryan Danielson beating Sammy Guevara and Jon Moxley defeating Penta were both great matches, but also very predictable. I liked the way Claudio Castagnoli was booked in the tag team match and getting the win over Chris Jericho perhaps can lead to Claudio getting another shot at the ROH World Title. The women’s match was fine too.
This was the episode that solidified MJF as a babyface. The promo he did on the stage was mostly what a babyface would do other than maybe a few insults. After the Mox-Penta match, he fired The Firm and then his former allies in The Firm kicked his ass. Morrissey gave MJF a Chokeslam through the table, so that should lead to MJF getting some revenge. I like it for Ethan Page too because he should get more of a push.
The other big story from the show is that there was a video about Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. As mentioned in the review, we have news stories on TJRWrestling about their impending return. I assume we see them on screen again soon leading to a match at Full Gear in a few weeks. A Trios Title match makes the most sense. Anyway, I enjoyed this show overall.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Full Gear on November 16th. Here’s what we know so far.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
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