The John Report: AEW Dynamite 11/23/22 Review
This week’s AEW Dynamite featured the fallout from Full Gear as the Best of 7 series for the Trios Tag Team Titles continued, Chris Jericho defended the ROH Title in the main event and more.
AEW Full Gear took place this past Saturday. Check out my review here in case you missed it. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US celebrating on Thursday. I’m Canadian, so we already had Thanksgiving in October, but I will spend most of US Thanksgiving watching NFL games most of the day (plus some World Cup). That sounds like a good day to me.
This was AEW Dynamite episode #164 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. 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.
A quick clip was shown of William Regal passing MJF the brass knuckles leading to MJF punching Jon Moxley and MJF pinning Moxley to become the AEW World Champion.
Let’s Hear from William Regal
William Regal was in the ring in a suit with the fans booing him. Regal asked if you wanted to hear from Maxwell Jacob Friedman, the fans cheered and Regal said you will have to wait until next week. Regal acted like he didn’t know what city they were in to get some cheap heat. The fans chanted “Regal sucks” as Regal said that MJF was on the set of a major motion picture (the Von Erich movie). The fans chanted “f**k you Regal” with Regal saying it was “so uncouth” of them. Regal said a few weeks ago, he sent an email to Mr. Friedman and next week, MJF will explain everything. Regal confirmed MJF will be there next week.
The former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley made his entrance from the back part of the arena with Moxley looking very angry. When Moxley got into the ring, Bryan Danielson showed up to get in front of Moxley to keep him back.
Bryan told Moxley he didn’t know why he did what he did on Saturday. Bryan said that Regal did a bad thing, but Moxley has done them and so has Bryan – they’ve all done bad things. Bryan pleaded with Moxley that Regal has a bad and two bleeds on his brain, so please don’t hurt Regal. Moxley was pacing around the ring. Bryan slapped Moxley in the face to try to calm him down. Bryan said he was sorry and even got down on his knees to try to get Moxley to listen.
Bryan spoke about how Moxley has gone through struggles in his life while Bryan added that his dad went through those struggles too and this is more than wrestling. Bryan talked about how when his dad had those struggles, he didn’t understand and there was only one person that could teach him – Bryan pointed at Regal. Bryan said because of this man, he was able to understand his dad’s struggles. Bryan talked about how for the last ten years of his dad’s life before his dad passed away, he learned to love him because of Regal. Bryan told Moxley to imagine somebody teaching your daughter to love Moxley in spite of his struggles. The fans chanted “bulls**t” for this. Bryan told Moxley to save him for Bryan because Bryan said he loved Regal. Moxley was very frustrated as the fans chanted “Moxley” for him.
Moxley stepped up to Regal’s face: “Lordship, I only want one thing from you. I want you to run. Run far away, as far away as you can and you never, ever come back. Right now. Walk. And keep on walking.” Moxley dropped the microphone and Regal slowly left the ring. The fans sang “na na na hey hey goodbye” as Regal left.
Analysis: That was an interesting way to start the show. Bryan Danielson saved William Regal from Jon Moxley kicking Regal’s ass. It made logical sense because Regal was like a father figure to Bryan, so a lot of what Bryan said had some truth to it. Moxley warning Regal and telling him to leave was a way to add to the tension as the AEW World Champion MJF returns next week. The fans being really hard on Regal was justified, that’s for sure.
Keith Lee was interviewed backstage by Renee Paquette, who mentioned Lee walking out on Swerve Strickland during their tag team match at Full Gear. Swerve walked into the screen, Lee asked Renee to excuse them and Lee told Swerve to choose his words wisely. Swerve put his hand on the camera saying they should talk without that on, Lee said okay and that was it.
Analysis: A simple way to follow up on what happened at Full Gear without giving away the discussion.
All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy vs. Jake Hager
A lot of guys at ringside for both guys because AEW has a lot of groups. Jake Hager is 8-6 in singles matches in AEW. He has wrestled only 14 singles matches in over three years of being in AEW. That’s a very light schedule.
Hager was wearing the purple hat because he really likes it. That’s his entire gimmick these days. Orange did his comedy kicks to the shins followed by a dropkick while his hands were in his pockets. Hager ran over Orange with a shoulder tackle. Orange sent Hager’s head into the turnbuckle, which led to Hager being mad about it. Hager charged, Orange ducked and Hager went over the top to the floor. Daniel Garcia retrieved Hager’s hat from Orange, but then Orange got the hat gain. Orange tried a suicide dive, Hager caught him and drove Orange into the ring post. Hager sent Orange into the ring apron leading to a picture-in-picture break.
The match returned with more comedy spots as Orange was knocked off the apron where the Best Friends guys caught Orange. Hager knocked down the Best Friends on the floor leading to Orange hitting a suicide dive. Orange hit a springboard diving attack on Parker, Garcia on the floor and Menard bumped too even though he wasn’t touched. Orange jumped off the top onto Hager, but Orange hit him with a Stundog and then a DDT counter for a two count. Orange charged for a punch, but Hager caught him with a uranage slam for two. Hager put his purple hat on, he tried a move off the ropes, Orange avoided it and Hager applied an Ankle Lock briefly. Orange grabbed Hager’s hat, so Hager let go of the Ankle Lock so that he could get his hat. While Hager grabbed his hat, Orange hit him with an Orange Punch. Orange got a rollup where he sat on top for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy
Analysis: **3/4 It was a decent match with plenty of comedy spots throughout because it’s Orange Cassidy. Plus, Hager looks like an idiot out there because he’s obsessed with the stupid hat. The finish involved a 40-year-old guy having his hat taken off and being upset about it. It’s lame. Orange continues to pick up wins.
Post match, Orange was about to get a hug from Best Friends, but there was an interruption.
QT Marshall and The Factory walked out with a promo. Marshall talked about how Orange was given out title shots all the time and Marshall’s group surrounding Best Friends. The lights went out.
When the lights came back on, the House of Black group with Malakai Black, Body King, Buddy Matthews & Julia Hart appeared. Black, King and Matthews beat up the Best Friends while the fans chanted “welcome back” to the HOB guys. House of Black beat up Marshall’s stable of losers as well. Some security and prelim wrestlers went out there one by one to get beaten up. King hit the Dante’s Inferno (sitout piledriver) on the ramp. Back told members of the House of Black (the fans): “Please rise.” The fans cheered and that was it.
Analysis: Welcome back to House of Black on their return after being away for two months. Perhaps they are in babyface mode since the crowd was behind them and they played to the crowd a lot more than they did in the past.
Jungle Boy was shown in the locker room after his Steel Cage match win at Full Gear talking about his win over Luchasaurus saying he was glad he kicked Luchasaurus’ ass.
Ethan Page made his entrance with Stokely Hathaway by his side. Stokely said that Ethan was going to win. Ethan said he was going to kick Ricky’s ass, make him cry and told the fans he’ll make them cry. Ricky Starks was next for the World Title Eliminator Finals.
World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals: Ricky Starks vs. Ethan Page (w/Stokely Hathaway)
Starks had tape from his left shoulder that went down to cover his ribs. Ethan got in some punches on Ricky’s ribs. Starks came back with punches, Ethan was down in the corner and the referee made Sarks stop. Ethan hit a headbutt to the sternum followed by a whip into the turnbuckle. Ethan delivered shoulder tackles into the ribs. Starks with chops, but Ethan came back with a kick to the ribs again. Ethan delivered knees to the ribs while the fans were chanting for Starks. Ethan charged off the ropes, but Starks popped back up with a Spear leading to Starks collapsing again due to the rib injury. Ethan went after Starks on the floor by driving him into the barricade. That led to a picture-in-picture break.
Starks was doing a nice job of selling the injured ribs as he threw punches, but Ethan came back hitting the ribs with a double axe handle. Ethan countered a DDT attempt by sending Starks ribs first into the top rope. Starks punched Ethan off the apron to the floor. When Starks tried a suicide dive, Hathaway pulled Ethan out of the way and Starks hit the floor. The referee Stephon Smith tossed Hathaway from ringside, which is the correct move. Ethan went up top, Starks went after him and Ethan punched Starks in the ribs. They kept on battling on the top rope leading to Starks hitting a superplex off the top. Starks punched Ethan repeatedly, then he went off the ropes and hit a neckbreaker after Ethan ducked his head. Starks hit the Tornado DDT off the ropes for a two count. Ethan blocked a move followed by a forearm to the head leading to a powerslam for two. Starks got a rollup, but Ethan hit two kicks to the head. Starks ran the ropes and hit a Spear. Starks hit a third Spear in the match leading to the pinfall win.
Winner by pinfall: Ricky Starks
Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good with Starks doing a nice job of selling the ribs throughout the match. While Ethan was very aggressive in attacking the ribs, I thought he could have done it even more during the match. Sometimes Starks uses the Rochambeau slam as his finish, but he can use a Spear too, so I liked that he had to do two in a row to put away Ethan because it puts over Ethan as a guy that’s tough to beat.
The win by Starks means he will challenge MJF for the AEW World Title at the Winter is Coming episode of Dynamite on Wednesday, December 14th.
Analysis: There won’t be a title change there, but it’s a fresh matchup between two talented guys.
A video aired about Samoa Joe winning the TNT Championship at Full Gear with Wardlow talking about how Samoa Joe hit him with a belt shot to the head while Wardlow was doing the Powerbomb Symphony to Powerhouse Hobbs. That led to Joe pinning Hobbs to win the TNT Title.
The Best of 7 Series between Death Triangle and The Elite was next.
A video aired about Jade Cargill confronting singer Bow Wow at his concert in Miami. Some bad acting going on there.
Jade Cargill, the TBS Champion, was interviewed by Renee Paquette and had The Baddies with her. Jade said they’ll have some celebration next week, but she has no comment on the Bow Wow situation. The “lawyer” Smart Mark Sterling had Kiera Hogan sign a paper kicking her out of The Baddies, so she’s gone from the group.
The Elite trio of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks made their entrance to “Carry On Wayward Son” with Don Callis, Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa joining them. The fans booed them as soon as they mad their entrance along with some loud “CM Punk” chants. The announcers were talking over it. Death Triangle were up next as the Trios Tag Team Champions with Alex Abrahantes joining them.
Best of Seven Series Match #2: Death Triangle (Penta, Pac & Rey Fenix) vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)
It’s the second match in the Best of Seven series. There is only a title change if The Elite win four matches in the series. Pac has a facemask on to protect his broken nose injury. Don Callis joined commentary.
Omega hit Fenix with a jumping knee followed by the other wrestlers brawling in the ring. The fans booed as The Elite stomped on Fenix. Nick gave Fenix a Powerbomb while Matt sent Penta into the barricade, but Penta hit a Slingblade on Matt on the floor. Nick hit a move and then Pac knocked down Nick on the floor. Omega ran the ropes, he did a “sleep” pose to taunt the crowd chanting for CM Punk since it’s a “go to sleep” reference and Fenix hit Omega with a Cutter. Fenix jumped off the top with a twisting splash onto the guys on the floor. The fans did “Ole Ole Ole” chants as Death Triangle hit triple dropkicks on Omega. Pac and Fenix hit splashes on Omega at the same time. Pac grabbed Omega, so Omega elbowed Pac in the head and Pac rolled out of the ring. One of the Bucks kicked Pac in the head while Matt hit a moonsault off the top onto Lucha Brothers on the floor. The fans were chanting for “CM Punk” at Matt while Omega hit a jumping leg drop to the back of Pac’s head. Matt was back in as the fans chanted something at him again leading to a picture-in-picture break.
The match continued with Omega biting Pac’s arm with Taz saying “sometimes in a fight, you’ve got to bite.” That was a reference to Ace Steel biting Omega’s arm during the All Out locker room fight. Pac got a tag with a DDT, then he did three backbreakers in a row and brought Rey into the ring with a top rope attack into an armdrag. Fenix did an incredible hurricanrana on Nick, then Matt hit a superkick on Fenix and Fenix popped up with a superkick that barely touched Matt. Pac worked over Omega with kicks to the body, Matt with a knee to Pac’s ribs and Omega hit a V-Trigger followed by a Snapdragon Suplex. Omega distracted the referee while the Young Bucks took the mask off Pac’s face. The Elite made tags so that they could all be in the ring leading to a triple superplex for a two count because Pac’s partners saved him. Nick sent Lucha Brothers out of the ring leading to a leap to the top followed by a twisting attack onto both guys on the floor. Omega was back in with a V-Trigger knee on Pac. Omega wanted his finish, but Pac broke free and Omega lifted up Pac onto his shoulders leading to the Go To Sleep (CM Punk’s finishing move) for just two. The fans were booing as Omega did that move. Fenix saved Pac from a double team move by hitting a running kick on Nick. Fenix sent Omega out of the ring leading to Fenix doing a suicide dive with a somersault onto Omega/Nick on the floor. Matt hit a low blow kick on Pac while the referee didn’t see it. Cutler slid Matt a hammer, Penta went up behind Matt, Penta had a hammer in his trunks and Penta hit Matt with the hammer (the referee didn’t see it), so Pac covered Matt for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Death Triangle (Penta, Pac & Rey Fenix)
Analysis: ***3/4 It was the usual exciting match between these two teams. The Elite guys certainly played into the CM Punk stuff to get big reactions from the crowd for some of the spots like Omega hitting a GTS to get some more heat as well. The hammer played into play again for the finish with Penta choosing to use it to cheat to win. That’s fine. I thought Fenix was incredible with some of his moves while The Elite worked over Pac for most of the match, but it was Pac getting the win. I thought The Elite overdid with the Punk “tribute” of sorts and it hurt the match a bit, but still a lot of good action here.
Death Triangle are now up 2-0 in the Best of Seven series. The next match is next week on Dynamite.
Post match, Fenix didn’t like that his brother Penta used the hammer, so the other guys on the team tried to convince him that it was okay because it got the win.
Renee Paquette was on the stage with a massive announcement for the women’s division. Renee said that AEW and Thunder Rosa have reached an agreement with Thunder relinquishing the championship. Thunder is willing to give up the title due to her injury. Renee introduced the new AEW Women’s Champion Jamie Hayter (no more interim champion).
Jamie Hayter made her entrance with Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. and Rebel. Renee asked Hayter how she felt, but Britt took over saying that Hayter is the undisputed AEW Women’s World Champion. Britt said they weren’t considering the word interim. Britt told Renee to step aside and let the champ walk to the ring.
Analysis: It would have been nice to hear Hayter say something instead of Baker taking over as usual. Maybe it’s just part of a story that will lead to a split between them since the fans are cheering Hayter already anyway. Anyway, Hayter becoming the official AEW Women’s Champion is the right move since Rosa has been out a long time. I don’t really like the “interim” thing to begin with anyway.
The Jericho Appreciation Society team of Anna Jay A.S. and Tay Melo were next. The third team of Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue were already in the ring.
Tay Melo & Anna Jay A.S. vs. Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. vs. Willow Nightingale & Skye Blue
Two wrestlers are legal while the other four women are on the apron.
Hayter started the match against Tay and hit a double suplex on Tay/Jay at the same time. Hayter got a belly-to-belly suplex on Tay. Baker tagged in with a cradle pin attempt for two. Baker hit a Slingblade neckbreaker for two. Jay tagged in with a double suplex on Baker, then Willow got the tag and Willow hit a running splash on Tay/Jay in the corner. Willow kicked Jay down followed by a body slam. Willow slammed Blue onto Jay for a two count. After a referee distraction, Tay did a cheap shot on Willow and Jay sent Willow out of the ring. Tay sent Willow into the barricade leading to a PIP break.
Blue was on offense with a running knee on Jay followed by a superkick. After Jay blocked a kick, Jay hit a spinning kick to the head. They did the part of the match where everybody goes into the ring and they all got knocked down followed by each of them exciting the ring. Blue hit the Code Blue, but Hayter hit a backbreaker and Baker hit The Stomp on Blue for the pinfall win after about seven minutes. The announcers tried to put this over as a great match. I don’t think so.
Winners by pinfall: Jamie Hayter & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match. These announcers are cheerleaders that talk about every match being great even though it’s not close to that. I like the potential of Skye Blue a lot, Willow is good at playing to the crowd and Tay/Anna are fine as heels, but they do overact sometimes. Having Hayter & Baker win keeps Baker strong while the other two teams really don’t get to have that many TV matches anyway.
After the match, Excalibur said that Toni Storm’s reign as AEW Women’s Champion is now considered official and not an interim title reign.
FTR was backstage with Top Flight for an interview with Renee Paquette. Dax Harwood said they want Top Flight to take over tag team wrestling for the next few decades. Darius and Dante Martin challenged FTR to an ROH Tag Team Title match on Rampage. Cash Wheeler accepted the challenge and they shook hands.
Let’s Hear from The Acclaimed
Yo. Yo. Yo. The Acclaimed showed up for a promo with Max Caster doing his usual rap while Anthony Bowens shouted the promo: “Chicago, The Acclaimed has arrived.” The guy known as “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn had his hands still taped up as the fans chanted “Oh scissor me, daddy.” Bowens said there’s a lot to be thankful for because they kept the titles, which means everybody loves The Acclaimed and Bowens said that his shoulder is feeling better. Billy took the tape off his hands to show he was just fine so they wanted to do the “scissor me, daddy ass” line and they were interrupted.
Jay Lethal was there with Jeff Jarrett, Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh. Jay and Dutt were mad that Max mentioned Jarrett and Lethal losing at Full Gear. While Jarrett was talking, the fans chanted “TNA sucks” at Jarrett. Jeff threatened to play a song on Caster’s head with Jeff’s guitar. Jeff spouted off some of his usual lines, then it ended after about 20 seconds and Gunn told them to shut up. The Acclaimed and Gunn did their scissoring thing to end it.
Analysis: A catchphrase fest to pop the crowd for five minutes. I like The Acclaimed and it’s smart to feature them on the show even though there wasn’t much for them to do here.
This Friday on AEW Rampage (taped in Chicago after Dynamite), which airs at 4pm ET on TNT for those of you in the US:
* ROH Tag Team Titles: FTR (c) vs. Top Flight
* Anthony Henry vs. Darby Allin
* We will hear from ROH World Champion Chris Jericho
* Hikaru Shida in action
* Dark Order vs. Rush, The Butcher & The Blade
Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite in Indianapolis:
* Best of 7 Series Match #3: Death Triangle vs. The Elite
* We will hear from AEW World Champion MJF
The main event between Jericho-Ishii was up next.
The ROH World Title was on the line in the main event with ROH ring announcer Bobby Cruise doing the introductions. Tomohiro Ishii made his entrance for the main event with the fans cheering for the veteran, who has a unique walk and was making his AEW Dynamite debut. ROH play by play guy Ian Riccaboni was on commentary for the match.
The crowd sang along to “Judas” for the entrance of the Ring of Honor World Champion Chris Jericho, who walked out alone although he did have “Floyd” the bat with him. The announcers talked over the singing crowd. They should stop doing that, but they kept on going.
ROH World Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Tomohiro Ishii
Jericho started the match with middle fingers to the crowd and middle fingers to Ishii, so Ishii slapped him in the face. They got into a slap fest, Ishii got a takedown and Ishii kicked Jericho in the lower back. That led to Jericho retreating to the floor. Back in the ring, they exchanged punches, then Ishii hit a belly to back suplex and when Ishii tried a kick to the head, Jericho ducked it. They did a shoulder tackle collision spot repeatedly with Ishii knocking Jericho down. They did another slap fest, then they exchanged chops and the crowd was shouting “woo” for a lot of it. They went to a PIP break.
They were doing so many chops to eachother that Jericho was literally bleeding by the chest and there was blood all over his torso. Ishii did a hard chop that knocked Jericho down. Ishii charged, Jericho got a boot up and Jericho hit repeated clotheslines in the corner. Jericho worked over Ishii with the corner punches, but Ishii did the Powerbomb out of the corner. Tony Schiavone claimed that 2022 was Jericho’s best year ever. I’ll go with 2008 over it. Anyway, Ishii charged with a lariat, but Jericho came back with a running forearm. Jericho tried a springboard dropkick onto Ishii on the apron. Ishii stopped that with a forearm to knock Jericho down. Jericho to the apron, he got a kick to the gut and a DDT on the apron. Jericho fought with Ishii on the floor, then back into the ring and Jericho rocked Ishii with a forearm. Ishii collapsed to the mat and then Ishii hit a German Suplex. Jericho with two German Suplexes, which is not a common move for him. Jericho hit a Lionsault for just a one count. Jericho hit the Codebreaker for a two count because that’s his old finisher. Ishii blocked a Judas Effect elbow with his hands and hit a headbutt to knock Jericho down. Ishii hit a sliding lariat into a cover for two. Jericho countered a move, Ishii powered out of a Walls of Jericho and Ishii hit a Codebreaker of his own. Ishii ran off the ropes followed by a running lariat for a two count. Jericho countered a brainbuster, he blocked a kick and Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho submission. Ishii tried to fight it, Jericho bridged back to make it more of a Liontamer, Ishii held a middle finger up and then Ishii tapped out to give Jericho to win. It went 15 minutes.
Winner by submission: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ***3/4 A very physical that was great by the end. It was a chop fest early on with Jericho’s entire chest bleeding due to all the chops. Whether it was legit or just for display, it doesn’t matter to me. From there, they really increased the physicality and the fans really got into it as Ishii got a number of big moves while Jericho came close to winning a few times. Jericho prevented Ishii from hitting a brainbuster leading to Jericho applying the Walls of Jericho/Liontamer and that ended up being too much for Ishii. I wasn’t into the match before the break, but then it got really intense in the last few minutes. I doubt anybody watching this thought Ishii could win although it didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the match. They did a nice job of telling the story they were going for.
Post match, Jericho went up the ramp to stare at Riccaboni at ringside, but Claudio Castagnoli was there and he decked Jericho with a punch to the head. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: This will lead to Jericho vs. Claudio at ROH Final Battle on December 10th. It makes sense to go back to that again since Jericho cheated to beat him for the title and Claudio did not get another singles match against him. They did wrestle again after the title change, but not a singles match like this will be.
Three Stars of the Show
- Death Triangle
- Chris Jericho
- Ricky Starks
This Week: 7.5 out of 10
Last Week: 7.25
It was a pretty good show again this week. With no MJF on due to filming the Von Erich movie, they covered by having William Regal get a lot of heat with his promo. Bryan Danielson stopped Jon Moxley from attacking Regal, which will lead into next week with MJF coming back. There are a lot of ways they can go with the story, so I’m interested to see how they follow up on it.
The main event with Chris Jericho beating Tomohiro Ishii was a chop fest. There were probably 40 chops combined (or more) and Jericho’s chest was cut open since there were so many of them. I thought there was too much of it early on, but then the match got better until Jericho put Ishii away. It’s good to see House of Black back. I hope they are booked better this time around. I’m also glad they dropped the “interim” for the Women’s Title now held by Jamie Hayter.
There was a lot of comedy wrestling on Dynamite this week with The Elite going out of their way to mock CM Punk with bits like Kenny Omega biting Pac (since Ace Steel bit Omega during the All Out fight) and Matt botched a Buckshot Lariat attempt on purpose to mock Punk. There was more. I mentioned some of it in my review, but there was so much it was hard to keep track. I get that they did it to rile up the Chicago crowd that loves Punk, but it also hurts the match when you do so many goofy things. Omega also did the GTS for a nearfall. I assume all of it was just for Chicago and they won’t do it again. We also have tough guy Jake Hager losing a match because his hat got knocked off and that match with Orange Cassidy was full of comedy bits too. Occasionally it’s fine. I just thought there was too much of it on the show.
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