A mouth-watering main event headlined AEW Dynamite airing from Pittsburgh this week as Jon Moxley was set to take on PAC along with two semi-final match-ups for the AEW World Tag Team Championships and hometown girl Britt Baker in action. Did Dynamite manage to light the fuse once again? Let’s find out.

Private Party vs The Lucha Brothers

The show contained too much action to even bother with an intro here as we went straight into the first semi-final match of the night for the tag team tournament.

The match was an overall great spot fest from these teams starting off with Private Party taking the lead and nearly putting Pentagon. Jr away with the silly string and 450-Splash combo but he kicked out at two and a half. The Lucha Brothers took back control as they victimised Marq Quen with some stomp-based offence and a setup dropkick that forced Isiah Kassidy to land a poison-rana on his own partner.

Rey Fénix stood out as always with his unbelievable high-flying abilities, a highlight being a top rope springboard moonsault to the outside. Private Party were the underdogs here and really gave the Lucha Brothers a run for their money but could not secure the win as Pentagon. Jr countered the Gin and Juice into a Canadian Destroyer allowing the Lucha Brothers to hit the assisted Penta Driver for the win.

A great opening match that was exciting and PPV quality throughout. My only gripe is that the Lucha Brothers didn’t play up their heel antics that they showcased from their assault on SCU. The crowd were absolutely incensed when Private Party beat the Young Bucks two weeks ago and that drama could have been replicated here.

SCU vs The Dark Order

More tag team action ensued as Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian took on Evil Uno and Stu Grayson. While the Dark Order have failed to resonate with fans as a team so far, their ring work speaks for itself. Stu Grayson is an impactful striker and Evil Uno uses his moments in the ring effectively with cheap shots and big slams accordingly. Halfway through this match the Inner Circle showed up in the crowd guided by Le Champion Chris Jericho as the group, sans Hager, had bought tickets and sat in a private booth showing their support for the Dark Order and drinking several bottles of the bubbly.

Dark Order dominated most of the match as they isolated Kazarian leaving the door open for Sky to get the hot tag that set the crowd alight. Scorpio being entered into the tournament in the wake of Christopher Daniels’s assault from the Lucha Brothers was a stroke of genius and really sets him up as someone who could be a standout singles competitor in the future. Sky managed to counter the Fatality from the Dark Order and finished the pair off with an assisted knee smash from Kazarian.

Joey Janela vs Kenny Omega

A follow up to their unsanctioned match on AEW Dark on Tuesday saw the pair square in a traditional match. Janela got to show off more of his wrestling acumen which was great to see and he did not fail to show that he is fully able to excel outside of his hardcore typecasting. Omega made it look like he would be running circles around Janela but the Bad Boy wouldn’t be kept down fighting back with chops and even following up with a crossbody from the turnbuckle to the outside.

After the break, Omega was in control and planted Janela with a series of snapdragon suplexes. Janela would counter a V-Trigger with a German Suplex rebounded from the ropes and countered everything Omega threw at him but neither a Fisherman Buster nor a devasting lariat could put Omega away.

A mistimed dive to the apron was Janela’s undoing, giving Omega the opportunity to finally land a devastating V-Trigger followed by the One-Winged Angel for the win. It was good for Kenny Omega to have a singles win here and Janela looked so strong in defeat it has done nothing to lower his stock and probably has raised it to another level.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1HjNHY2hYQ]

Cody is interrupted by the Inner Circle

Back from the break, Cody was being interviewed by Tony Schiavone and was ready to make a major announcement before the Inner Circle interrupted with comically wimpy air horns and boos. Cody threatened to come up and fight Jericho but had it pointed out to him that he was outnumbered.

Queue Dustin Rhodes coming to Cody’s aid first, followed by MJF (incidentally, Jericho stole the best line of the night when he saw MJF saying “We’re supposed to be scared of someone wearing a scarf?) and finally DDP. This resulted in an 8-Man brawl in the arena hallway as security tried to diffuse the carnage. The whole thing ended with a whining and crying Jericho complaining that they clearly have tickets.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KzRpvzMRwo]

This segment was hilarious, exciting and just all-around fun. The heels got their comeuppance in the most satisfying way without losing an ounce of heat.

Best Friends w/ Orange Cassidy vs The Young Bucks

Best Friends took on The Young Bucks in an exhibition match that, while featuring some fun wrestling, was at an awkward time in the card and failed to really get the crowd on board. The Young Bucks did their best continuing their heel streak, but the crowd could only fathom booing the Bucks if they were attacking Orange Cassidy and never seemed to truly get behind the Best Friends. The Young Bucks hit their set menu of high-flying spots and Chuck Taylor even did the deal with the Falcon Arrow but this failed to get the crowd behind Best Friends in the same way it did for Private Party 2 weeks ago.

The Young Bucks took the victory with a Super Kick Party followed by More Bang for your Buck for the win. The idea of the Young Bucks being utilised as means of showcasing some lesser-known tag teams in AEW is good in concept but they’re fighting the tide here playing the face opponents to Santana and Ortiz and trying to heel it up against face tag teams. They need to find sturdy ground for audiences and do less of their crowd-pleasing flippy stuff when heeling it up.

Britt Baker vs Jamie Hayter

Hometown girl Britt Baker took on Southampton’s Jamie Hayter with a much-needed package before the match for Britt Baker to help her show off a bit more personality to audiences. It helped also that Hayter is so effortlessly charismatic as a heel that it was easy to want to see Baker slap the taste out of her mouth.

Hayter controlled most of the match here setting up the comeback from Baker who managed to lock in the Lockjaw for the win. Baker looked strong here in a short match that will work towards her becoming a top star in the women’s division, but she will need to show off more of her personality to really get over with the crowd. It shouldn’t be ignored that Hayter looked great here showing she will be a great addition to the women’s division and may add another foil for Baker in her feud with Priestley.

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IvPWStlVRc]

Jon Moxley vs PAC

The main event saw Moxley barely make it past his pyro before PAC blindsided him with a chair and chocked him out with his own jacket.

The referees tried to check on Moxley and it looked like he may not have been able to continue but in defiance, he rolled into the ring to face PAC down. Moxley would do his best to fight on shaky legs but PAC would continue to assault Moxley with speedy strikes. However, a vicious lariat would let Moxley gain back the momentum.

Moxley’s fatigue allowed PAC to counter a top rope attempt into an avalanche Falcon Arrow and not long after a 450 splash from the apron to the floor. PAC would try and end it with the Black Arrow but Moxley rolled out just in time. With 30 seconds of TV time left, Moxley would hit the Paradigm Shift but PAC still kicked out leading to a time limit draw.

While the crowd weren’t happy with a draw, this did protect both guys and Moxley sent the crowd home happy hitting the referee with a Paradigm Shift for good measure. However, having one of your main stars saying “time limit my ass” to the camera about a main-event finish isn’t the best way to close out your show or to encourage people to come back next week.

It may not have been the best show AEW Dynamite has had in recent weeks but the action was consistently entertaining meaning it was an enjoyable couple of hours of wrestling and I think most will take that over WWE’s current main brand offerings any day of the week.

All pics and videos courtesy of AEW and TNT

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