One week removed from Fight For the Fallen, AEW is back to base form as it presents, for the first time in four weeks, a normal episode of AEW Dynamite. For three weeks AEW put on PPV-caliber cards for a two week Fyter Fest event and the aforementioned Fight For the Fallen. Let’s find out if the Elite brand of stateside wrestling can keep the momentum going.
We quickly open through the traditional pyro opening before Cody is introduced for his TNT title open challenge, having already been in the ring. Following Cody’s introduction, Eddie Kingston comes out on stage to berate the champion. This all feels abrupt and out of nowhere, but what else can be asked for a pre-taped show?
Kingston says that Cody “likes to be best friends with Tony Khan,” which popped this writer, then said Khan “paid me to show up, and now he’s gonna pay me to kick your ass.” So Eddie Kingston has been brought in as the babyface of this story.
Kingston says that Tony Khan would let him have a No DQ match as long as Cody accepts. Cody does, and as Justin Roberts goes to confirm the stipulation, Kingston attacks Cody to get the match underway.
TNT Championship: Cody (c) vs Eddie Kingston
Cody takes control after brawl in which Kingston had the upper hand. He goes to use his weight belt, before Kingston rolls the outside. As Cody follows him, Kingston gets a hold of the belt and whips Cody in the back with it (HUGE POP). Kingston pulls the ringside mat to expose the concrete underneath, but Cody counters a powerbomb set up and back body drops Kingston into the concrete.
Back in the ring, Kingston fights off Cody and keeps control of the champion, kicking Cody in the head and telling him to stay down. Cody tries to take advantage of a distraction from Arn Anderson at ringside, but gets caught with a clothesline and locked into some kind of dragon sleeper/arm wrench combo.
Cody & Eddie Kingston get into a back and forth forearm exchange. Cody again tries to fight back before Kingston rakes the eyes. When Kingston goes for a back suplex, Cody lands on his feet and knocks him down at the left knee. Cody approaches Kingston and walks into a low blow (a bit of catharsis for this writer) followed by a DDT.
Eddie Kingston grabs a bag of thumbtacks from under the ring and pours then onto the mat. He taunts Cody in the corner and goes to slam him into the tacks before Cody goes after the left knee again and attempts a vertebreaker. Not long after this attempt, Kingston powerbombs Cody right into the thumbtacks (Yikes!).
Cody rolls through a back drop suplex and lands a lariat on Kingston. He attempts a figure-four before getting into a slapping contest and successfully logging in the figure-four for the win. Hey, if anyone in AEW was going to land in thumbtacks and come away with the victory seconds later, it’s Cody. We go to commercial with JR saying that the “AEW Heavyweight Champion” Jon Moxley will be on next.
As we come back, JR throws out a REAL ZINGER by saying the show is off to a “tacky start” before commentary run down the rest of the card.
Jon Moxley is cutting a promo on his match with Brian Cage. He calls Tazz “manager of the year” for saving his client from injury. He says Tazz made the right call throwing in the towel, before closing by saying “next time, I ain’t gonna let go.” MJF is in action next.
MJF gets in the ring and his opponent is Griff Garrison. He cuts a promo on Griff saying that he himself is a prodigy before calling his opponent “Jungle Man.” MJF makes fun of the “Ivy League MVP” nickname. After MJF gloats about being undefeated, Griff mocks MJF’s tag team loss from week one of Fyter Fest. This infuriated Max, who hit Griff with a cheap shot to start the match.
MJF vs Griff Garrison
MJF throws Griff Garrison into the steps and back into the ring as the show comes back from commercial. MJF immediately grabbed the mic and says he lost his temper from Griff’s earlier comments. He proclaims he’s never been pinned or submitted and wants Griff to admit he’s undefeated before torturing the newcomer to Dynamite. MJF gets Griff to say he’s undefeated, then nearly loses to a quick rollup. MJF sets up and hits the Heatseeker a piledriver variation with the opponent hung from the middle rope, for the win.
A serviceable match. One MJF needed to once again put himself over as the biggest heel in the company. I would be happy to see MJF vs Moxley for the World Championship announced very soon.
Post match, we join Tony Schiavone with Rebel before Britt Baker yells at them both to go in the room and tells Tony to turn her wheelchair around. Britt Baker continues her rules for being a role model with Rule #4: never count out a role model. Britt says that she’s set for the “biggest comeback of all time.” Britt says that she is the Michael Jordan of AEW and says to not count her out, especially at All Out. Brian Cage is now making his way to the ring.
Tazz says that Brian Cage was close to firing him and explains what happened last week. He says that Cage will never be in such a position in a submission ever again. Not long after this, Darby Allin’s music hits. Before he can get into the ring, Cage’s new friend Ricky Starks blindsides Allin. This helps Cage powerbomb Allin on the stage and throw him into the ring before Starks slams Allin in the ring. As Starks is holding up Allin for a skateboard shot from Cage, Jon Moxley enters with a barbwire bat and saves Allin. Teddy Long knows what will come of this.
As we go to commercial, AEW announces there will be a Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament, known as The Deadly Draw, taking place this summer. This will include sixteen women made into eight teams.
Hyped for this. AEW has needed something big done in the women’s division and, even though it does not feel like there are enough women’s teams to make this up, I am sure this tournament will turn out to be a huge plus for the brand and, most importantly, the division itself.
Coming back, Alex Marvez is interviewing the Inner Circle. Jericho says that the Inner Circle is going to embarrass Orange Cassidy and the Jurassic Express, then goes onto say what is “funny” about each member.
The Butcher & The Blade vs The Young Bucks (Falls Count Anywhere)
The Young Bucks were not going to wait for their match to start. They have a referee and are headed to the kitchen to start their Falls Count Anywhere match with the Butcher and the Blade early. The match is started, and their brawl throughout the kitchen. Tony speaks another zinger by saying “they’re using everything except for the kitchen sink.”
Matt Jackson holds a sheet pan in front of Butcher’s face as Nick runs in with a flying knee into the sheet and instantly Butcher’s head. They fight by a semi trailer as Butcher puts Nick on his shoulder and runs him into, well, Nick Jackson on a trailer door. Following this, Butcher and Blade walk around the door to be attacked by Matt Jackson, who ran from inside the trailer and out with a front flip to B&B (Butcher & Blade).
The Bucks fight the Butcher over by the bar, and do a couple of splashes onto Butcher onto a table, in actions which the table decided to say “I AM THE TABLE!” Going to break, the Young Bucks fight the Blade by the escalators and hit him with a double superkick. Blade is shown riding the escalator as we go to commercial.
Back from break, the Bucks are bringing the Butcher back to ringside and hit him with an assisted Sliced Bread and a running knee strike. The Blade comes back and nails each Buck with a steel chair. B&B attempt a powerbomb on Matt through a table, but Matt counters, hitting Blade with an Eclipse from the apron, followed by a senton from Nick onto Butcher from the ringside railing.
The Young Bucks attempt a suplex into a table on Butcher, but Butcher counters. The Blade tries a suicide dive, before giving the “suicide” part a reason and missing everything and hitting each leg on a railing and a table. The Butcher immediately followed with a cross body on Nick Jackson through a table.
The Butcher and the Bucks fight back in the ring as the Bucks double team their foe before they apply what was once known as the Cease and Desist (a sharpshooter/crossface combination). Blade breaks it up and fights both Jackson brothers off as he knocks Matt onto the stage. B&B then pick up Matt for a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination and walk into the entrance ways to grab one table each.
While on the stage, the Bucks catch each B&B with a double superkic, and hit the Blade with what was coined by commentary as the BTE-Trigger. They hit Butcher with another double superkick as they lay out both B&B on tables and climb the staging equipment. Matt falls with an elbow drop onto Butcher as Nick falls onto Blade, both through tables, for the 1, 2, 3.
Best Butcher & Blade match I have ever seen. I was never sold on them, and I am not sure how sold I am on them yet after this. Great win for the Young Bucks as they end this feud with B&B as it looks like for good. A better match from their recent spot fests.
Alex Marvez catches the attention of Lance Archer and Jake Roberts. As he tries to get a word, Archer drags Marvez and the cameraman into the locker room and beats up a bunch of short people while Roberts talks a big game. Archer leaves by pushing Marvez and claiming, as usual, that “everybody dies.”
Diamante vs Evelisse
Up next is the one women’s match scheduled for tonight (seriously, Anthony?). It is Diamante vs Evelisse, two women who have yet to compete on AEW Dynamite. Evelisse has beautiful red hair, so that is something. The show split screens to show Big Swole cutting a promo on Britt Baker, telling its audience to not worry about the match going on since it is clearly not that important. Diamante caught Ivelisse with a small package after a run off the ropes for the win. Quickly after the replay, the show goes to commercial.
Again, this feels like Divas Division booking. A short match that feels like no one cares about it. The cherry on top being the rollup for the victory. The tag team tournament cannot come soon enough. Hopefully, these two women get a better opportunity in the future.
Alan “5” Angels vs “Hangman” Adam Page
5 is now making his way to the ring as his match with Hangman Page is up next. Looks like he is going by his name Alan Angels, while still being recognized as 5. Page makes his way to the ring, and he’s wearing a mask under his mask (nice touch). His lower third this week says “gonna see how this white wrist tape works out.” Hangman Page is the top babyface this company deserves; hopefully, Kenny Omega will be the one to turn.
This match seems evenly paced. As Hangman Page drops Angels onto the barricade and rolls him back into the ring, the Dark Order appear on stage as spectators just before the commercial break.
Coming back from break, Page takes Angels out with a lariat that made Angels flip back and land on his stomach. Page hits him with a powerful pop-up powerbomb for, interestingly, the victory.
It was teased on Being the elite that Hangman Page once wanted to join the Inner Circle. Mr. Brodie Lee & Colt Cabana come out, and Lee confronts Page. He says that he is impressed by Page, but sees that he’s in immediate danger without his friends. Lee promises Page protection by the Dark Order. Page says that he’s “not ready to join a cult right now.” Lee retorts “you just made your bed, and I hope you enjoy your sleep in it” before walking to the back and directing the Dark Order to Page.
Page is attempting to fight off Uno, Grayson, Silver, and Reynolds, but they outnumber him. FTR enter and dump a water filled cooler on Reynolds & Silver. Once the Dark Order are fought off, Kenny Omega, Tag team champion with Hangman Page, finally comes out. FTR offer a drink to Page, which is accepted, of course.
Good little squash match for Adam Page to build his story. Good post match angle to do the same. Tensions continue to build between the tag team champions, and Page continues to build a good relationship with FTR. Loving this so far, and still hoping Omega will be the one to turn when this all climaxes.
Once again, this writer brings back an old gimmick from the days of his podcast (a few months ago). Announced for next week:
- Kenny Omega and Hangman Page will defend the AEW World Tag Team Titles against the Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson).
- AEW Women’s World Champion faces Diamante in non-title action.
- Darby Allin & AEW World Champion Jon Moxley will team up in tornado tag action against Brian Cage & Ricky Starks.
- Cody’s TNT Championship Open Challenge will continue.
While a lot of good content, why are they booking non-title singles action in the women’s division on Dynamite? This has “WWE booking” stink all over it. Hopefully, it impresses and ends up being the opposite. But hey, two championship matches next week!
Jurassic Express vs The Inner Circle
As the Inner Circle enter, Jim Ross calls that Chris Jericho & Jake Hager are teaming for the first time under “Australian” rules. A very interesting way to put it, as it seems this is a very unknown fact.
Jericho starts the match with Jungle Boy. J.B. hits Jericho with a couple of arm drags and a dropkick to gain the upper hand before Jericho tagged in Hager and J.B. tagged in Luchasaurus. Hager catches L.S. with his signature ankle lock before tagging Jericho back in and taking control.
Hager keeps control over L.S. (Luchasaurus) with chop blocks and clotheslines. Both men knock each other down and get tags to their partners. J.B. takes Hager off the apron and gets a frankensteiner on Jericho for a nearfall followed by a tope to Proud and Powerful (Santana & Ortiz). Hager breaks up a pinfall and distracts Aubrey Edwards, the referee. In doing so, Marko Stunt gets a sneaky dropkick on Jericho. Jericho gets his retribution on Stunt as the show goes to picture-in-picture.
Jericho is in control of J.B. as the show comes back from break. J.B. is able to get Jericho off him and get up for a cross body from the top for a nearfall before Jericho took him back out with a lariat and tagged in Hager.
Jericho is tagged back in and teases using Floyd the bat, but fights Aubrey Edwards about it. Edwards finally got Jericho to lose the bat, and he goes back on the attack of J.B. After a nearfall, J.B. takes Jericho out with a clothesline of his own. Jericho tries to hold him back, but gets hit with an enziguri. As J.B. tried to make the tag, Hager cut him off and nailed him with knees to the chest and followed with a sleeper hold.
Jericho tags in again and they double team on J.B. As they irish whip him for a double team move, J.B. hits them both with a double DDT and tags in Luchasaurus. L.S. hits Jericho with a loud chop before trying to chop down and subsequently shoving down Jake Hager. L.S. hits Jericho with a tail whip and Hager with a roundhouse. He hits Jericho with a reverse death valley driver before Hager hits L.S. with a spinebuster and J.B. hits Hager with a top rope flying forearm.
PNP (Proud & Powerful) distract Edwards again as Marko Stunt catches Jericho with another flying dropkick. Luchasaurus takes advantage again, and sends J.B. into Santana as he hits a hurricanrana on Satana into Ortiz. L.S. goes to chokeslam Jericho, but as Edwards is distracted, Serpentico hits him with the bat, and Jericho nails L.S. with a codebreaker for the win.
Post-match, Serpentico helps the Inner Circle beat down the Jurassic Express. After hitting a shooting star press on Luchasaurus, Serpentico pulls off his mask to reveal he is actual the returning Sammy Guevara.
The Best Friends & Orange Cassidy come out to run off the Inner Circle as the show draws to a close. As the show ends, a 5-on-5 match is announced for next week; it will be the entire Inner Circle vs Orange Cassidy, Best Friends, & Jurassic Express.
Another good match, and a very surprising return. Nice to see Sammy Guevara back, despite the obvious reasons for why he has been off TV. Regardless of the situation that took him off TV, the Inner Circle has yet to feel the same since his presence was taken away and it is nice to see him back. A great close to Dynamite to leave the show lingering in the mind. Dynamite is back, and, as always, in top form.
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