This week’s AEW Dynamite featured The Acclaimed defending the Tag Team Titles against FTR, Samoa Joe putting the TNT Title on the line against Darby Allin and more.
It’s Wednesday and you know what that means. Excalibur welcomed us to the show along with Taz and Tony Schiavone.
They started talking about the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal as wrestlers were already around the ring. They mentioned MJF attacking William Regal last week while saying that Regal is still in the hospital (sure) and Bryan Danielson is still with him. Congrats Bryan on a week off.
There were some entrances shown for the battle royal including Ricky Starks, Jungle Boy and Dustin Rhodes
Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal
The ring had a bunch of wrestlers in it, but some guys were still on the floor. William Morrissey was on the floor rather than being in the match. Kip Sabian and Orange Cassidy were fighting on the floor a bit and eventually went in after about a minute. Ethan Page was ordering Matt Hardy to attack Dalton Castle since Matt’s contract is owned by The Firm. Orange was trying to eliminate Kip Sabian, so The Blade punched Orange and threw him into the ring post. Orange was eliminated since he went over the top. Dustin hit a Destroyer on Sabian and tossed him out. Starks did a near elimination spot, but the director completely missed it because they were showing the other side. Butcher eliminated Dustin. Brian Cage knocked Dalton Castle down three times, but The Boys saved Castle three times and Castle was back in, so Brian Cage tossed Castle over the top to knock him down on top of The Boys, so Castle was out. Jungle Boy sent Cage over the top, Jake did a superkick and a double knee attack to eliminate Brian Cage. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
The match returned with Starks running into Butcher, who bumped to the floor and Butcher was eliminated. Jack hit a hurricanrana over the top on Lee Moriarty to eliminate him. When Jack was on the apron, Morrissey kicked him and Jack was eliminated. Morrissey gave Jack a Chokeslam into the edge of the ring apron with Jack’s upper back/neck hitting the apron. There were four guys left with Ethan Page making Matt Hardy raise his hand. There was also Shawn Dean and Ricky Starks in the match. Dean hit Matt with an uppercut and Dean hit a DDT on Ethan. Matt saved Ethan and hit a Twist of Fate on Dean. Ethan tossed Dean over the top to the floor.
The final three were Ethan Page, Matt Hardy and Ricky Starks with Ethan ordering Matt what to do. Ethan did a dumb move by turning his back to Matt, so Starks tossed Matt over the top to the floor. Starks hit a DDT on Ethan. Ethan sent Starks into the turnbuckle followed by a kick to the head. Ethan went for a powerslam, but Starks used his momentum to flip Ethan over the top to the floor to win the match.
Winner: Ricky Starks
Analysis: **3/4 It was okay for a battle royal. I wouldn’t call it a great match and it lacked star power while making me wonder why certain people were not a part of it. The story with Ethan Page-Matt Hardy really isn’t that interesting and Ethan looked so dumb turning his back on them, but that was just done to set up the finish. Starks winning is fine since he was the biggest star in the match.
Let’s Hear from MJF
Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance with the AEW World Title around his waist. MJF went into the ring telling Bryan Danielson that he knows that Bryan is scared of MJF and after what MJF did to William Regal, Bryan should be scared. Bryan said he’s going to be a four-time Dynamite Diamond Ring holder and he’ll still be the AEW World Champion.
MJF told Richard (Ricky Starks) that the people seem to like him around here. MJF said that Starks is very talented, but the truth is that in comparison to MJF, Starks is the “absolute drizzling shits.” MJF said he’s a “roody poo candy ass” (a Rock line) and he said Starks stole everything else from that guy. MJF called him a “Dollar Store Dwayne” and he’s going to start calling him The Pebble. MJF bragged about having a Porsche while ripping on the crowd for being poor and he’s going to skip Ricky’s pebble all the way to Billy Corgan’s NWA so he can wrestle on Youtube where he belongs. MJF said he didn’t care that Starks was absolute because MJF is a generational talent and his reign of terror has just begun.
Starks bumped into MJF on purpose and grabbed the microphone. MJF called him “Maxi Pad” saying he should have expected a fifth-rate Roddy Piper and the fans chanted “Maxi Pad” at MJF. Starks wondered how much more schtick does MJF trashing the people and the city. Starks ripped about MJF’s spray tan, he ripped on the cheap shoes, the shirt that is too tight, the scarf and he yelled at MJF for thinking he was better than Starks. Starks talked about how MJF cheap with the scarf and the cheap heat. Starks talked about how when the people got behind him, Starks gave him a reason to keep going. Starks talked about how MJF let the people down, MJF let Regal down, but Ricky delivers on time, every time, every week and every month. Starks ripped on MJF for complaining about not being paid enough. Starks said that MJF avoids responsibility, MJF avoids it because everybody hates Max while Starks shows up to signings. Starks said there’s responsibility when people like you, Starks said he lives with dignity and with respect. Starks talked about living in his car, then he trashed MJF some more and talked about giving a woman in the crowd a house and a car. Starks said that MJF doesn’t deserve the title, but Starks did. Starks said that next week he’s snatching the mole off MJF’s neck, he’s stomping an asshole into him and Starks is taking the title. Starks said he’s taking the responsibility off MJF’s plate…little boy. MJF kicked Starks in the groin! MJF charged with a punch, but Starks avoided it, Starks ran the ropes and hit a huge Spear. Starks posed with the AEW World Champion while MJF rolled out to the floor to sell that Spear. The fans popped big for Starks throughout the segment.
Analysis: That was great. I think Starks outperformed MJF in that promo battle royal, but that was probably the intent of it to have Starks looking like a legitimate threat to beat MJF for the World Title. That match is next week on Dynamite and while I believe MJF will win, this was really effective in terms of putting over Starks. I liked some of what MJF said with Starks doing a lot of Rock stuff because I think a lot of us feel that way, but Starks can more than hold his own on the microphone as well. I really liked that segment.
There was a video with some quick promos from TNT Champion Samoa Joe and Darby Allin. Their match is coming.
Jon Moxley was up next.
Jon Moxley did a backstage promo talking about “Hangman” Adam Page a bit saying that Page fell off his horse, dusted himself off and did his talking with his fists. Moxley talked about this is the sport of kings. Moxley talked about how the Blackpool Combat Club was going to prove themselves this week against the Jericho Appreciation Society with ass-kicking wrestling. Moxley is going to be ringside to make sure there’s none of that sports entertainment shenanigans during the tag team match later. Moxley said if Hangman wants another piece, he knows where to find him.
Darby Allin made his entrance for his first championship match in a while. Allin is a former TNT Champion. Samoa Joe was up next as the TNT Champion while also carrying the ROH World TV Champion as well.
TNT Championship: Samoa Joe vs. Darby Allin
They started by exchanging punches, then Allin hit a dropkick and Joe was knocked out of the ring. Allin went for a running suicide dive, but Joe did his classic walkaway spot as Allin went crashing hard on the floor. Joe sent Allin into the barricade twice along with a whip into the ring apron. Joe slammed Allin down on the floor with Allin bumping onto his hip. Joe tried a power move on the floor, Allin slipped out of it and Joe gave Allin a powerslam on the floor after pulling up the mat. Ouch. Allin took some big bumps in the first few minutes of this match.
The match returned with Joe sending Allin into the ring post and Allin did a spinning bump onto the floor. The referee finally decided to do a ten count and Allin got back in before ten. It’s AEW, where they only do countout spots when it’s convenient, but it’s never consistent. Joe with an atomic drop, a boot to the face and a senton splash onto Allin. Allin to the floor, he avoided a charging Joe and Allin sent Joe into the steel steps. Allin went up top and jumped off the top with a Coffin Drop onto a standing Joe on the floor. Allin doused himself with a water bottle. Back in the ring, Joe caught Allin, but Allin broke free with a flipping Stunner and a Code Red for a two count. Allin charged at Joe, who caught him with a uranage. They battled by the turnbuckle, Allin bit Joe in the face and Allin tried a Coffin Drop off the top, but Joe caught him. Joe applied the rear naked choke submission on the submission and Allin passed out in the hold so Joe got the win after ten minutes.
Winner by submission: Samoa Joe
Analysis: ***1/2 That was an impressive ass-kicking by Joe while Allin took a beating throughout the match. There were some big bumps by Allin right from the moment the bell rang and Joe kept it up the whole time. I was really entertained by the match because it was full of action while also looking like a believable beating. Allin also hit some big moves while nearly getting the win. I like how Joe has been booked since going heel.
After the match, Allin got back up with a shove to the chest, so Joe headbutted him. Joe grabbed Allin’s skateboard, flipped it over so the wheels were facing up and Joe gave Allin a Muscle Buster on the wheels. Ouch. Joe applied the choke again, but Wardlow ran out for the save and Joe left.
Analysis: Joe is so great as a vicious heel like this while Allin is the perfect opponent for him because Allin is more than willing to take a beating to make a guy look strong. What took Wardlow so long? Good catering, I guess. Anyway, this should all lead to Joe vs. Wardlow in a singles match soon.
This Saturday at ROH Final Battle, Samoa Joe will defend the ROH TV Title against Juice Robinson.
Orange Cassidy and Kip Sabian were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Cassidy talked about defending the AEW All-Atlantic Title against Sabian, who claimed he was not as his best after he was hurt in the battle royal. Cassidy said that if Sabian doesn’t want to face him then he can find somebody else that can. Tony Schiavone summarized it that Orange will defend against somebody of Kip Sabian’s choosing.
A video aired with Chris Jericho talking about he has become the ROH World Champion of all time. Jericho said that Claudio Castagnoli doesn’t believe that he can beat Jericho, which is why Jericho will beat Claudio at Final Battle. Jericho talked about Claudio being forced to join Jericho Appreciation Society after Claudio loses.
Analysis: I think Claudio might win, but I don’t know for sure. Jericho’s message was taped because he was on a Fozzy tour recently, but he’ll be back for Final Battle on Saturday.
Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta (w/Jon Moxley) vs. Daniel Garcia & Jake Hager (w/Sammy Guevara)
Hager loves his purple hat. A fan in the crowd had a Chris Jericho tattoo on his left side rib. Wrestling fans are strange. Hager tossed his purple hat to Claudio, who teased putting it on, but instead, Claudio kicked the hat down. Yuta chopped Hager, then Hager ran over Yuta with a shoulder tackle and Garcia stomped on Yuta in the corner. Yuta with a body slam and a senton splash on Garcia. Claudio tagged in for a double boot onto Garcia. Hager tagged in leading to a trip as the fans chanted “We The People” in reference to Claudio/Jake teaming in WWE nearly a decade ago. Yuta tagged in with a double ax on Hager’s arm followed by Yuta hitting a dropkick. Yuta with a slam on Garcia, both heels went to the floor and Yuta hit a suicide dive. Sammy with a distraction, so Garcia shoved Yuta off the top into Hager’s arm leading to a slam by Hager. Hager hit a Vader Bomb splash off the turnbuckle for a two count. Garcia worked over Yuta with a chop followed by some face gouging. Garcia and Yuta battled by the turnbuckle leading to Yuta hitting a superplex off the top rope. That led to a picture-in-picture break.
Garcia hit a boot to the face on Yuta, who bounced off the ropes and came back with a German Suplex. Claudio tagged in against Hager with uppercuts, a corner elbow smash, more uppercuts and Claudio came back with even more forearm smashes. Claudio hit a hurricanrana out of the corner, but Hager didn’t take it right and landed hard on his shoulder. Claudio went for the Swing, Garcia jumped on Claudio’s back, Claudio slammed Garcia down and Yuta hit a top rope splash. There’s some illegal offense. Claudio did the Swing on Hager for about ten rotations followed by Claudio hitting a clothesline for two. Claudio went for a move off the ropes, Sammy touched him right in front of the referee (who did nothing) and Moxley punched Sammy to knock him down. That allowed Hager to get some offense going again with an Ankle Lock. Garcia applied the Dragontamer submission on Yuta, but Claudio sent Hager into Garcia to knock him out of the ring and Claudio hit an uppercut on Hager for the pinfall win. It went 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match with Claudio looking strong as usual since you know he’s going to win going into the ROH World Title match at Final Battle. Hager rarely wins in AEW, so it’s not a shock that he got beat also since he’s not in a match at Final Battle. Claudio is one of my favorites in AEW, but the finish wasn’t that great since it was just an uppercut. I don’t think the fans realized that was going to be the end, so there wasn’t a big reaction to it like if it was a finisher.
Let’s Hear From Blackpool Combat Club
There was a post match interview in the ring with Tony Schiavone. It led to Tony Schiavone showing a clip of his interview with William Regal that was taped before MJF attacked Regal. In the video, Regal said people will only see this if something bad happens to William. Regal said now everybody in this company is going to be chasing MJF. Regal said that the three main members of the Blackpool Combat Club didn’t need him, but they don’t need him anymore. Regal said that he needed to show them they didn’t need him and they can teach Wheeler Yuta. Regal said that the reason he did what he did was to teach them the final thing he could ever teach them – always stay one step ahead and make sure you keep your eyes in the back of their head. Regal said he’s Blackpool Combat Club for the rest of his life. Tony said he taped that two weeks ago with Regal.
Jon Moxley said that they live and breathe for the sport of professional wrestling. Moxley said you can call them whatever you want. Moxley said that at Final Battle, this war with the Jericho Appreciation Society ends. Moxley said that this Friday on Rampage, he’ll challenge any wrestler that wants to face him. Moxley spoke about how the Blackpool Combat Club will make a statement and pro wrestling will make a statement. They left.
Analysis: That was an interesting way to have Regal deliver a message to the group. It was a logical explanation from Regal talking about the lesson he taught the group and how he believes that they don’t need him anymore. I don’t think they should be called Blackpool Combat Club anymore with Regal out of AEW, but I guess they are keeping the name for now.
House of Black was featured in a promo with Malakai Black talking about how this company has been corrupted by some people. Black said that this company is sick and dying, so now it’s time for the House to put down this corruption. Julia Hart said that the crime is treason. Buddy Matthews said that the verdict is war. Brody King said the sentence is extermination. Black said that anybody that has an issue with what they’ve done over the last two weeks or what they’ve said here then come next Wednesday, come one and come all.
Analysis: I like how House of Black has been booked since returning. They have looked impressive and I think they’ll be faces, so the fans should support them.
The Acclaimed vs. FTR is still to come in the main event.
Jamie Hayter was seated for an interview with Tony Schiavone earlier in the day. Hayter had the AEW Women’s Title with her. Hayter said that everybody is trying to grind to reach her at the top. Hayter said she’ll give a championship match to whoever wins the match between Hikaru Shida and The Bunny on Rampage. Hayter spoke about how she’s going to be a fighting champion and a damn good one at that.
Analysis: It’s nice for them to give Hayter a chance to speak, which is rare considering she’s a champion. It was still a short interview.
Jade Cargill, Red Velvet & Leila Grey vs. Kiera Hogan, Madison Rayne & Skye Blue
Jade is the TBS Champion. Hogan got kicked out of Jade’s group, so that’s the minor storyline going into this match. Velvet and Blue did a pin attempt routine for nearfalls. Grey tagged in with a double back elbow to knock Blue down. Grey hit a running knee in the corner and Blue hit a spinning kick to the head. Rayne tagged in with a trip followed by Blue getting a dropkick. Velvet was back in as Blue hit her with a superkick. Velvet trapped Blue in the apron and hit her with some punches. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
Velvet was working on Blue, which led to a double superkick spot. That led to the tags by each team with Hogan tagging in against Cargill so both of them were in for the first time. Hogan with a dropkick on Cargill, then a sliding boot onto Cargill and Hogan sent Grey & Velvet to the floor. Cargill caught Hogan and hit her with a huge spinebuster. Hogan avoided a move by Cargill, Rayne tagged in with an enziguri kick and Cargill hit her with an elbow. Cargill hit Rayne with the Jaded slam for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Jade Cargill, Red Velvet & Leila Grey
Analysis: ** A typical AEW women’s tag team match. There was some action that was relatively meaningless, then Cargill kicked some ass and needed only two moves to beat Rayne. I really like the potential of Blue and Hogan as younger talents with bright futures, but they aren’t being used that well.
The big screen showed a graphic that Cargill is 43-0 in her AEW career. Cargill celebrated with her TBS Title. Velvet didn’t seem that impressed, so it could be a tease of a split.
Saraya was interviewed by Tony Schiavone, but Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. showed up for the interruption as usual. Baker talked about how Saraya has had everything handed to her since she got there. Baker talked about she had a ticket for Saraya for a match at Dynamite in Los Angeles on January 11th. Baker said it will be a tag team match, so Saraya will have to find a partner. At least she has time.
Analysis: I don’t know who the partner will be for Saraya. They can pick somebody on the roster now, but it could be a surprise or a debuting wrestler.
They did the rundown for Rampage and Final Battle matches with Excalibur talking really fast as usual. They also plugged next week’s Dynamite with the Winter is Coming show. Since I wrote this live, I’m not going to write it all out because the graphics are rushed and it’s hard to keep track of it all.
The main event AEW Tag Team Title match was next.
FTR made their entrance with their three sets of titles. They finally get an AEW Tag Team Title match after being the number one ranked tag team (if that matters) for about eight months now. Anyway, The Acclaimed made their entrance with Max Caster making a joke that “FTR” stands for Find The Remote. Anyway, the fans popped for both teams and The Acclaimed doing their “scissor” gimmick is still very popular.
AEW Tag Team Championships: The Acclaimed – Anthony Bowens & Max Caster (w/Billy Gunn) vs. FTR – Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler
The fans were singing about Daddy Ass and scissoring to start the match. Harwood started with not much going on. Wheeler and Bowens did an exchange of pin attempts, which we just saw in the women’s match earlier, but some different moves here. Caster worked over Harwood with a dropkick and an armdrag takedown. Bowens was back in, so Harwood greeted him with a hard chop to the chest. Harwood and Bowens exchanged punches, then they each tried hiptosses, but neither guy was able to pull it off. All four guys went into the ring leading to a brawl as Caster sent Wheeler out of the ring with a clothesline. Caster with a body slam on Harwood and Bowens tagged in with a leg drop on the “yambag region” according to Taz. Harwood slid under a leaping Caster, but Caster avoided a submission and The Acclaimed each applied the Sharpshooter on their opponents. Harwood got to the ropes to break the hold as FTR retreated to the floor. Wheeler sent Bowens into the post and Caster was sent into the barricade. FTR gave Caster a catapult into the steel bar under the ring apron. They went to a picture-in-picture break.
FTR was in full control with Caster as the face in peril even though both teams were faces. Wheeler had Caster set up on the top rope, Caster shoved Wheeler off the turnbuckle and Caster hit a diving cross body block. They showed Jay Lethal, Jeff Jarrett and their group watching the match on a TV. Harwood tagged in, Caster ducked a punch and Caster hit a back body drop. Bowens tagged in with a back elbow to Harwood’s back. Bowens with a leg drop to the back of the head of Wheeler followed by a thrust kick and a running knee on Harwood for a two count. Harwood went to the rolling German Suplexes with two of them, Bowens got a rollup for two and Bowens knocked Wheeler off the apron. Harwood rolled up Bowens with the trunks grab for a two count. Bowens with a slam off the shoulders that sent Harwood’s head/neck into the knee leading to Bowens getting a two count. Wheeler tagged in, Harwood punched Bowens and Wheeler jumped off the middle rope for a spike piledriver for a two count for Wheeler. Taz said he broke his neck in 1995 taking a spike piledriver, so it makes him cringe. Caster saved Bowens from a double team with a Spear on Wheeler and Bowens got a cradle on Harwood for two. Caster tagged in for a double team sitout slam/neckbreaker on Harwood for a two count. Harwood kicked Caster into Bowens, then all four guys were in the ring going for double team spots. Harwood sent Caster into the ring post. Harwood and Wheeler hit the Big Rig double team move on Caster, but Bowens broke up the pin attempt! That was just a two count. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Wheeler knocked Bowens off the apron to the floor. Harwood went for a superplex on Caster, but Bowens knocked Harwood down. Bowens hit The Arrival slam on Wheeler. Caster tried the top rope elbow, but Wheeler moved and Caster hit the mat. Wheeler hit a Gory Bomb on Bowens. Caster rolled up Wheeler for two and Wheeler came back with a stiff lariat for two. Wheeler with two more lariats on Caster. Wheeler gave Caster a Powerbomb, but Caster rolled through and sat on top of Wheeler while hooking the legs for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Acclaimed – Anthony Bowens & Max Caster
Analysis: **** It was a terrific tag team match especially in the second half after the break. The last few minutes were very exciting with FTR hitting the Big Rig for the nearfall, but Bowens saved his partner Caster at the last possible moment. The first half of the match was okay, but it wasn’t that exciting. The great thing about FTR matches is that while they do have some illegal offense spots, they do it far less than most AEW teams because they actually care about having a traditional tag team match. That’s better than some of the chaotic spotfest tag team matches that we see in AEW far too often. Tag team matches are better when there’s actually a story and it’s not just a spotfest. Anyway, I expected The Acclaimed to win since they are really popular with a lot of support from the crowd, so it’s better to keep it going rather than move the titles away from them. If they do a rematch down the road that would be cool with me.
Post match, Billy Gunn helped FTR back up to their feet and hugged them. The Acclaimed and FTR joined together for some scissoring in the middle of the ring. FTR hugged The Acclaimed.
They showed Gunn Club backstage saying that FTR are trash. Austin and Colten said they had Christmas presents for FTR. Austin said that they had a card from the Briscoe Brothers saying they have a match with FTR at Final Battle. They had double dog collars, so it’s a Double Dog Collar match between FTR and Briscoe Brothers at Final Battle. They played FTR’s music to end the show with Excalibur plugging what’s coming over the next week. End show.
Analysis: The FTR/Briscoe Brothers tag team matches have been incredible this year, so they will add to that rivalry with a Double Dog Collar match at Final Battle. That should be wild and probably a bloodbath too.
Three Stars of the Show
- Ricky Starks
- The Acclaimed
- FTR/Samoa Joe
This Week: 7.75 out of 10
Last Week: 7.5
It was a very good Dynamite this week for the most part. The main event between The Acclaimed and FTR was an excellent tag team match, especially after the commercial. While I didn’t expect a title change, it was certainly a match that could have gone either way with FTR (Harwood & Wheeler) coming close after hitting the Big Rig double team move only for Bowens to save Caster. It was Caster getting the win on Wheeler by sitting on top for a pinfall win. It wasn’t a dominant win by The Acclaimed, but they found a way. Bring on a rematch down the road.
Ricky Starks dominated the first half hour thanks to his win in the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal followed by a great promo battle with MJF in the ring. Sometimes we see MJF get the better of his rival in something like that, but I thought Starks did a great job and was very entertaining as the babyface in the segment. Starks is a rising babyface star in AEW, which is what they need. With that said, MJF will keep his AEW World Title against Starks next week on Dynamite.
I also really liked how dominant Samoa Joe was against Darby Allin to keep the TNT Title. Some of Darby’s bumps are insane, but it also makes Joe look like such a badass. They are booking Joe very well as a heel. They also did a nice job of following up the William Regal story with a taped message from two weeks ago talking about how he taught Blackpool Combat Club a lesson. It made sense to me at least.
Most of the rest of the show was average, but I definitely enjoyed it overall. Lots of stuff to like this week.
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