This week’s AEW Dynamite saw Orange Cassidy defending the International Title against Claudio Castagnoli, plus Hangman Page & The Young Bucks in tag team action and more.
I’m going to do summary style for most of the show and play-by-play for two of the matches.
There were highlights shown of last week’s AEW Dynamite when Claudio Castagnoli pinned Orange Cassidy in the main event tag team match. Bryan Danielson also suffered a broken orbital injury that may have happened a week earlier, but it got worse here. They also showed highlights of AEW World Champion MJF beating Kenny Omega on AEW Collision last Saturday to have the longest World Title reign in AEW history. They shook hands after the match.
MJF, the AEW World Champion, was interviewed by Renee Paquette backstage. MJF has to pick three partners for the eight man tag team match later. They talked to Adam Cole via video chat. Cole suggested that maybe MJF should accept Samoa Joe’s offer. MJF said he’d successfully defend their ROH Tag Team Titles at AEW Full Gear. MJF left, so Roderick Strong (yelling “ADAM” as usual) walked in with The Kingdom. Strong wondered if they are seriously pretending that MJF is not The Devil. Adam hung up. After that, the screen showed somebody in The Devil mask.
Analysis: The story of MJF trying to find tag team partners would be an ongoing theme throughout the show.
It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. Excalibur was on commentary with Tony Schiavone and Taz.
AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. Claudio Castagnoli (w/Wheeler Yuta)
The announcers talked about Bryan Danielson needing surgery for a broken orbital bone and he hopes to be back before the end of the year.
Orange tried a move early, but Claudio caught him and slammed him down. Claudio hit a body slam followed by a double foot stomp to the ribs. Claudio delivered a running boot to the head. Claudio delivered repeated knee strikes to the ribs. Orange came back by sending Claudio’s head into the turnbuckle ten times. Orange jumped off the top, Claudio caught him and hit a backbreaker. Claudio hit a gutbuster. Orange rolled out of the ring multiple times to break free, so Claudio decked him with a running clothesline on the floor. Orange got back in the ring and hit a suicide dive elbow drop. Orange tried a dive again, but Claudio caught him and slammed Orange ribs-first onto the barricade. Hook showed up at ringside, so referee Bryce Remsburg ejected Yuta and Hook from ringside. Claudio put Orange on his shoulders and brought him into the ring. Claudio hit a delayed vertical superplex from the middle turnbuckle. That was a great display of power. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Claudio remained in control with repeated shoulder tackles. They showed Yuta and Hook arguing backstage during the break. Orange sent a charging Claudio into the turnbuckle. Orange hit a dropkick to send Claudio out of the ring. Orange hit a suicide dive with a DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Claudio tried a move and Orange countered it with a Stundog Millionaire. Claudio countered a DDT by applying the Giant Swing for about 15 spins followed by Claudio applying a Sharpshooter submission. Claudio let go, then he transitioned and locked Orange into Crossface submission. Claudio had the arms hooked while pulling back on the head/neck. Orange broke free leading to Claudio hitting an uppercut for two. Claudio delivered hammer elbows to the head. Claudio applied a sleeper hold with Orange selling it like he was out of it, but Orange was able to hang on. Orange kicked himself off the ropes to counter into a two count. Orange hit an Orange Punch followed by a Beach Break slam, btu Claudio rolled out of the ring and went to the floor to avoid being pinned. Back in the ring, Orange delivered many kicks to the chest. Orange hit a running PK kick. Orange charged, Claudio caught him and Orange broke free leading to a DDT for two. Orange charged, Claudio with a lift and Orange countered it into a hurricane with a pin for the three count. Orange wins! It went 17 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy
Analysis: ***1/2 A finish out of nowhere with Orange Cassidy finding a way to get the win with the counter by hitting the hurricanrana into the pinfall for the win. It was booked almost like a fluke finish because Orange was selling a lot and then Orange was able to hit the one big move to find a way to get the victory. Claudio had control for most of the match, yet he wasn’t able to put Orange away and Orange found a way to win as he usually does.
Post match, Jon Moxley made his entrance from the back part of the arena. Moxley took off his leather jacket and went into the ring with a white t-shirt and jeans. Orange went after Moxley in the ring, but Moxley caught him and Moxley overpowered Orange with punches. There were security guys, but Moxley beat them up and Claudio dumped a security guy out of the ring. Moxley bit Orange’s head. Claudio pulled Moxley off Orange to end it.
Analysis: A fight by Moxley and Orange to continue that rivalry. None of Orange’s friends give a shit about him to try to save him, apparently.
MJF was backstage where he knocked on Kenny Omega’s door and Chris Jericho opened the door. MJF asked if Kenny was in there, so Jericho closed the door. MJF walked down the hallway. Wardlow grabbed MJF against a wall saying he’ll take everything from MJF when he least accepts. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn were there to ask MJF to team with MJF. MJF said nothing, wasn’t interested and walked away.
Jon Moxley was backstage with some equipment boxes. Moxley did a promo saying that Orange Cassidy was in Moxley’s match against Fenix, but Orange took it and won the International Title. Moxley said he let Orange walk out on his own power in Chicago (at All Out). Moxley said it’s not about him. It’s just Orange is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Moxley said he’s going to beat him and there’s not a thing you can do about it just because Moxley knows he can do it.
Analysis: Moxley and Cassidy had a great match at All Out in the main event two months ago, so they should be able to do it again. Maybe Moxley wins again if AEW wants to give him a decent title run.
ROH Trios Tag Team Championships: The Elite – “Hangman” Adam Page, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Mogul Embassy – Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona
I forgot that Hangman and The Young Bucks held these titles. A 42-day title reign that has felt meaningless.
Page hit a boot to the face of Kaun. Page hit a clothesline to knock Kaun out of the ring. All three of The Elite guys hit dives onto their opponents on the floor. The Elite hit a bunch of tandem offensive moves. Nick hit a Swanton Bomb on Kaun for a two count.
The match returned with Page getting a hot tag leading to a clothesline, running boot and a Powerbomb. Swerve Strickland arrived with Prince Nana with Swerve saying last week he was at Hangman’s house, so Hangman ran to the back at Swerve. Nick hit a bunch of superkicks until Cage decked him with a clothesline. There was a double team Powerbomb on Matt. Cage hit a knee to the face of Nick and Kaun/Liona hit a double team powerslam sending Nick face first into the match for the pinfall win. It went about eight minutes.
Winners by pinfall AND NEW ROH Tag Team Champions: Mogul Embassy – Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona
Analysis: **1/2 This was more about the story of Hangman abandoning his team because he wanted revenge against Swerve and didn’t seem to care about these titles. All three Mogul Embassy guys were in the ring for a few minutes toward the finish because it’s AEW where they don’t care about stuff like that. I just think it’s bad wrestling when you have three guys in the ring for a few minutes doing tandem moves. You can do a better job of telling a story. Anyway, the crowd seemed dead for a lot of this and I can’t say I blame them.
After the match, “Hangman” Adam Page was shown trying to get a hold of Swerve Strickland in the back, but there was a lot of security around to keep them separated.
At ringside, Matt Jackson was angry after the match. Matt grabbed a steel chair at ringside and swung it at the ring post multiple times.
Analysis: It was a few weeks ago when The Young Bucks won a multi-team tag team match to earn an AEW Tag Team Title match. It hasn’t been mentioned for several weeks now, so I don’t know if it’s still happening. Perhaps this will lead to The Young Bucks getting an actual storyline, which is rare for them.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman was backstage nearly knocking on Samoa Joe’s door. Instead, MJF went to Darby Allin’s locker room and wrote “Emo Bitch” on it. The Acclaimed and old guy Billy Gunn were there wanting MJF to pick them, but MJF just walked away.
Let’s Hear from Adam Copeland
The fans woke up with some noise as Tony Schiavone stood in the ring to introduce Adam Copeland. Excalibur called Tony Schiavone the “Rated PG-13 Superstar” so that was funny. Adam gave Tony props for wearing a lot of hats for this company, so the fans cheered. I should add here that Adam turned 50 years old on October 30th, so happy birthday to him.
Adam Copeland talked about his respect for Sting since they shared a lot of similar injuries, so they talked to eachother a lot over the years. Adam spoke about how Darby Allin was somebody that he respected and is a big part of the future of this company. Adam said people are wondering if he is going to team with Sting & Allin at Full Gear.
The promo was interrupted by TNT Champion Christian Cage (Adam Copeland’s lifelong best friend), Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne. Cage threatened to retire Sting at Full Gear while bragging about how he hurt Allin by dumping him on those stairs at WrestleDream. Cage also threatened to snap Adam’s neck, so Christian told Adam to back down from him right now. Christian said he’ll leave Adam in a wheelchair so that his kids will check on him by wiping the drool from his face.
Things got physical when Christian’s team triple-teamed Copeland looking for a Conchairto. Luchasaurus hit Adam in the back with a clothesline while Nick Wayne hit his Wayne’s World Cutter on Adam. Christian teased a Conchairto on Adam, but Copeland had some backup when Sting and Darby Allin made the save. Sting took care of Wayne on the floor while Adam kicked Luchasaurus, who rolled out of the ring. Christian stomped on Allin, but when Christian turned around, Copeland hit his best friend Christian with a Spear. The fans popped big for that.
Copeland told Cage: “You want to snap my neck?! I’m going to beat your ass! It is on, you stupid little son of a b**tch! Sting, you were right. Sting and Darby, you want a partner at Full Gear? I’m your man!” They shook hands to confirm it.
Analysis: I like that it was a short promo filled with action after that. Sometimes AEW promos go on too long. In this case, it felt like the right amount of promo time for both Adam and Christian before the physicality started. Adam hitting the Spear on Chrisitan drew a big pop, so that was good to hear from the crowd. I think it was pretty obvious this match was coming a few weeks back, but now it’s official. I predict Nick Wayne getting pinned by Sting or Copeland in that tag team match.
Tony Khan made his “big announcement” that AEW All In London 2024 tickets are on sale on December 1st. There are more details on that right here. The show is on August 25, 2024.
Analysis: A lot of people complained about this as a big announcement. This is something that AEW could just announce on social media or something like that, but instead, they try to make a big deal about tickets being on sale for a show that is taking place in ten months. Hopefully, there are no backstage fights at All In next year.
The Golden Jets – Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega vs. Matt Menard & Angelo Parker (w/Jake Hager)
The Golden Jets name is in reference to Omega being the Golden Lovers with Kota Ibushi and Jericho/Omega both being from Winnipeg, which is the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Don Callis was on commentary with his “Family” of wrestlers standing behind him. Jericho started for his team leading to Omega tagging in for a tandem suplex. They went to break one minute into it.
Omega chopped Menard a few times leading to Jericho getting the tag. Jericho hit an elbow smash off the top rope. Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Parker for a two count, but Menard made the save. Omega went into the ring illegally with a Snapdragon Suplex and Omega hit a somersault dive onto Hager on the floor. Menard hit Jericho with the bat while the referee wasn’t looking so Parker got a two count. Jericho avoided a bat swing by Parker and Jericho hit a Judas Effect elbow on Parker for the pinfall win after six minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Golden Jets – Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega
Analysis: ** This was Jericho and Omega going through the motions to win an easy match against guys that never win on television. It was six minutes with three minutes of it in the picture-in-picture screen. At least there was one good nearfall for Parker/Menard in the match. The result was never in doubt here.
After the match, Don Callis and his “Family” including Powerhouse Hobbs, Konosuke Takeshita & Kyle Fletcher appeared on the ramp. Callis challenged Omega & Jericho to a 4-on-4 Street Fight on Dynamite in two weeks. Omega agreed to it saying they’ll have Kota Ibushi with them in the match. Callis said they were still a man short because Sammy Guevara is on the Callis team. Chris Jericho named their partner saying that Hobbs is powerful, but Jericho has a friend that’s bigger than Hobbs and Jericho said he’s a giant. Well…it’s a big Paul…Wight aka the man formerly known as the Big Show. Paul Wight appeared on the stage and decked Fletcher with one punch. It was nice of Kyle to run into him so Paul didn’t have to actually move. The announcers tried to treat this as a big deal.
Analysis: There are concerns about Paul Wight’s mobility after years of inactivity, but apparently, he still wants to have matches at 51 years old. I’m not sure if Wight can move much or take bumps in the ring, but he’s going to be part of this match in two weeks. Jericho teased the giant partner last week.
There was a backstage scene in The Elite’s locker room where Renee Paquette was interviewing Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. Matt Jackson interrupted it wondering why The Elite was back together if they don’t have each other’s backs. Matt wondered who invited this “prick” (Jericho) into their locker room. Nick mentioned the things that Jericho did to their father a few years ago. Omega said he is on their side against the Don Callis Family. Matt Jackson warned Omega that Jericho will screw him over like Callis did. Matt told them to clean up when they were done.
Analysis: Matt Jackson is in angry mode. At least that is some character development for The Young Bucks, who haven’t had many storylines this year at all.
AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida vs. Willow Nightingale
They shook hands before the match since they are both babyfaces. There was a plug for John Cena and Nicole Byer hosting Wipeout on TBS and Taz goes: “Hey, I know that guy.” Nice. Willow hit a running cross body block for a two count. Shida sent Willow the apron followed by a running knee to the back and Shida hit a cross body block on the floor.
Shida hit a suplex while the crowd goes mild. Willow got some offense going with a spinebuster. Willow hit a dropkick off the middle rope, Shida no sold it and Shida hit a missile dropkick of her own, so then she decided to sell. Shida hit an Avalanche Falcon Arrow off the top for just a one count. Willow bounced off the ropes leading to the running Pounce attack and a Death Valley Driver got two. Shida nearly got a crucifix pin, but Willow kicked out. Shida hit a running knee and then a spinning knee Katana connected for Shida for the pinfall win after 10 minutes. Excalibur thinks it’s really impressive winning three title matches in seven days because he said it about ten times during the match.
Winner by pinfall: Hikaru Shida
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match. Shida has been booked like a strong champion since winning the title. The last couple of minutes were good after a plodding start to the match. They could sell some moves better.
The music of “Timeless” Toni Storm hit as Shida’s Full Gear challenger Storm appeared with Lutha (Luther) and Shida hit Storm with a running knee. Storm went running to the back.
Analysis: I think Toni is going to win the title again since the fans react to this gimmick of hers.
The lights went off for about five seconds. They were back on and Julia Hart was in the ring with Willow Nightingale. Hart offered a hand as a handshake as Skye Blue went into the ring and stared at Hart. Hart nodded at Blue, who split blue mist into Hart’s face. Hart screamed “curse you” at Blue. Hart made angry faces on the floor while Blue was in the ring with Willow.
Analysis: I don’t know much about this storyline or care that much about it. At least it’s a storyline for some women in this company. The quality of acting isn’t great. There are probably 20+ women in AEW that have no storylines and are barely on TV because they only put one women’s match on per show.
MJF was seated on the floor with a clipboard. The Acclaimed and old man Billy Gunn went up to MJF offering to tag with him. Max Caster handed him a garbage bag and told him to wear this if he wanted to team with them. MJF wasn’t interested in that. There was one more group for MJF to consider. It was Jeff Jarrett and friends. MJF didn’t seem interested in that at all.
Analysis: It’s a show long storyline for MJF. They don’t do a lot of that in AEW, so I like it and I’m glad they did it.
Roderick Strong and The Kingdom were about to be interviewed by Renee Paquette. Strong called Adam Cole doing his “ADAM” yelling as usual. Strong complained about how MJF wouldn’t team with them and called MJF a jerk, so Cole told Strong to shut up. It just ended there.
It was main event time with Bullet Club Gold’s Jay White (with the stolen AEW World Title), Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn up first.
The Acclaimed’s Max Caster & Anthony Bowens entered with Billy Gunn as the AEW Trios Tag Team Champions. Max did a pre-match rap calling Bullet Club Gold a couple of NJPW rejects and the Ass Boys. Maxwell Jacob Friedman was next as the AEW World Champion wearing pink and black gear. MJF had a “Scissor Me” shirt along with a pink and black scarf, plus pink tights, pink knee pads and pink boots.
Analysis: It’s a unique look for MJF, but that’s what The Acclaimed wanted if MJF teamed with them.
Bullet Club Gold – Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn vs. MJF, Max Caster, Anthony Bowens & “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn
The deal is that if MJF’s team wins then he will be given the AEW World Title back. Bowens hit a jumping leg drop to the back of the head of Juice. Bowens with some strikes leading to a superkick. Austin tagged in against his daddy Billy. Billy missed an elbow drop when Austin avoided it, but Billy decked Austin with a punch. Billy punched Colten too. White tagged in with kicks, then a chop and Billy decked White with a chop. MJF tagged for White’s partners pulled him out of the ring. MJF refused a “scissor” with his partners as the show went to picture-in-picture break.
It continued with Colten in there with Bowens, who avoided a corner splash. Billy tagged in with a double team elbow drop on Colten for two. Billy gave Colten a body slam. Bowens set up on the middle rope for a leg drop to the leg of Colten. MJF nearly did a scissor party, but the heels pulled the faces out of the ring. Colten stomped on Caster against the turnbuckle. White decked Caster with a knife-edged chop. Caster was thrown out of the ring leading to cheap shots by the heels. The match fell apart with all eight guys fighting on the floor. The heels sent Caster and Billy into barricade. They also tossed Bowens over a barricade. Billy was sent face first into the ring post. MJF was the only man standing in the corner for his team while White stomped on legal man Caster. Caster managed to break free, MJF got the tag and White bailed to the floor even though he was legal. The three heels fed MJF as he punched three guys along with three body slams in a row. MJF chased White around the ring, I heard MJF say “cut me off” and Austin tripped him up. That’s cutting him off. MJF countered The Gunns double team move with a DDT. MJF hit the Kangaroo Kick knocking two guys out of the ring. White hit the Bladerunner on MJF for the pinfall win. It went 14 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Bullet Club Gold – Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn
Analysis: *** Good match. Not great. I didn’t expect that kind of finish, but I like how it was done with White getting the pin on MJF to show that the challenger at Full Gear can beat the champion. All it took was one Bladerunner by White to beat MJF because Max wasn’t ready for it. I thought the team of MJF with The Acclaimed & Gunn had some fun moments together. It made sense for Bullet Club Gold to work well in that situation since they are an actual team. It’s a big win for White while it also shows that MJF is beatable as the World Champion too.
After the match, Jay White and Bullet Club Gold celebrated with the AEW World Title over a fallen MJF who continued to sell the Bladerunner by laying on the mat. The Gunns picked up MJF, White teased an attack, but The Acclaimed and Billy went into the ring to save MJF. White was alone in the ring with MJF, who pulled himself back up. Caster went into the ring and White charged at MJF, so Caster pushed MJF out of the way and White hit Caster with the World Title to the head. White and Bullet Club Gold celebrated on the ramp with White still holding the AEW World Title. MJF stared at them from a distance.
Back in the ring, MJF showed concern for Caster, who was out on the mat and Caster held up his hand wanting a scissor with him. Billy yelled not to walk away after what Caster just did for him. MJF held up his hand and the four of them did the Scissor gesture in the ring. The fans cheered. Caster hugged his buddy MJF, who was reluctant about hugging back. The four faces celebrated in the ring. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: A sacrifice by Caster taking the AEW World Title shot for MJF. I thought they would do something where MJF managed to knock down White and get the AEW World Title back, but that’s not what happened. The Acclaimed and Billy finally getting MJF to “scissor” was a happy moment to end the show. I can’t say that I, as a man in my early 40s, care about MJF scissoring with these guys, but the fans seem to care at least.
Three Stars of the Show
- Bullet Club Gold – Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn & Colten Gunn and MJF
- Orange Cassidy
- Claudio Castagnoli
This Week: 6.75 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
2023 Average: 7.33
This was kind of a mixed bag show with some good moments, but some of the matches weren’t that interesting to me. I liked the show-running theme of MJF looking for partners because he’s a top guy in a story that puts him on early in the night and in the main event. MJF and The Acclaimed with old man Billy losing to Bullet Club Gold means Jay White gets to keep the stolen AEW World Title. The match was solid with a good finish. The segment with Adam Copeland and friends dealing with Christian Cage was booked well. It woke the crowd up.
I liked the Orange Cassidy-Claudio Castagnoli match as the opener. It was mostly Claudio on offense, but Orange found a way to win. Other matches were fine with Jericho & Omega going through the motions in an easy tag team win. Young Bucks and Adam Page losing the ROH Trios Tag Team Titles to Mogul Embassy didn’t feel like a big deal at all since I barely remembered they held those titles in the first place. The one women’s match was okay.
It was noticeable throughout the show that the crowd was quiet for several of the matches. They did get up for some of the older, veteran stars and also MJF, but for a lot of the show, it wasn’t that loud. AEW needs to focus on their current roster and not bring back Paul Wight for a match when he looks like he can barely move. All due respect to him, but he had a 30-year career and doesn’t need to wrestle again. I think Collision is clearly the better show compared to Dynamite at this point.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Full Gear from Los Angeles on November 18th. Here’s the lineup so far:
* AEW World Championship: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (MJF) (c) vs. Jay White
* Sting, Darby Allin & Adam Copeland vs. Christian Cage, Luchasaurus & Nick Wayne
* AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Jon Moxley
* AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Toni Storm
* “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Swerve Strickland
* ROH Tag Team Championships: Maxwell Jacob Friedman (c) vs. The Gunns – Colten & Austin Gunn (Pre-Show)
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