AEW Dynamite followed up its critically acclaimed AEW Revolution PPV with a star-studded episode that saw the new AEW World Heavyweight Champion Jon Moxley team up with Darby Allin to take on Sammy Guevara and the former champion Chris Jericho, but how would Jericho respond after his title loss and would the Inner Circle be looking for deadly retribution?

Moxley is your new AEW World Heavyweight Champion

Jon Moxley addresses the crowd after his win at AEW Revolution

Moxley came down to the ring to celebrate his victory at AEW Revolution and told the crowd and the people at home that the belt never belonged to Jericho, it doesn’t belong to him but it belongs to the fans who have made AEW a reality. Jericho and the Inner Circle responded by coming to the ramp to address the new champion.

Jericho claimed that Moxley cheated to win as he’d prepared to fight a one-eyed man but, as we saw at the PPV, Moxley’s eye had healed. Due to this, Jericho promised a scorched earth approach to the entire AEW locker room even going as far to make a gambit that if Moxley managed to walk out of the arena by the end of the night, he would take a leave of absence for 60 days.

Moxley looked great here playing the babyface and the crowd are 100% behind him as champion. The reverberation of the rivalry between Moxley and the Inner Circle is a perfect avenue to help put over a more aggressive side to the group.

SCU and Colt Cabana vs The Dark Order

Eight-man tag action saw the Dynamite debut of Colt Cabana who started out with his unique fun and athletic style he has carved out over the years that will be familiar for hardcore wrestling fans but refreshing for first-time viewers.

Following up their dominance in the Buy In for AEW Revolution, the Dark Order took every opportunity to cut off the babyfaces and spent a good chunk of the match isolating Christopher Daniels who they’ve been targeting for a while now.

Colt Cabana looks to impress in his debut on AEW Dynamite

However, despite all this, SCU cleaned house with top rope flip onto Evil Uno, Stu Grayson and Jon Silver as Cabana hit Alex Reynolds with the Chicago City Skyline from the top rope and followed up with his Superman pin for the victory.

I really hope the Exalted One’s arrival turns this group into a more threatening presence because as it stands, they just come off as a job squad. It’s all well and good having a group of losers and misfits band together to better their standing but that doesn’t work if they consistently lose on TV and never come off as a threat. Hopefully, the plan is to have the Exalted One promote this change and not just turn out to be a fabrication by Evil Uno.

Big Swole vs Leva Bates

This wasn’t a long match but served its purpose as a showcase for Swole. Bates is a safe pair of hands who’s great at putting over talent.

Bates hit Swole with a book as Peter Avalon distracted the referee and hit a backstabber but Swole came back swinging, hitting a nasty knee strike and quickly landing the Dirty Dancing for the victory.

Cody addresses his loss

Cody came down to the ring distraught over his loss and said that he would only be satisfied with everything he’d gone through to face MJF if MJF came down to the ring and told him he beat him fair and square.

Surprisingly, Jake “The Snake” Roberts came down to the ring instead to confront Cody. As opposed to the other legends that seem to be consistently in Cody’s corner, Roberts instead came to the ring to berate Cody saying he couldn’t stand to continue listening to Cody bitch and whine about his loss.

Roberts went on to tell Cody that he would be representing a client who was ready to slay Cody and that he wasn’t there to take the whole share of AEW, he just wanted Cody’s.

Roberts finished by stating he was told never to turn his back on someone he respected or feared before immediately turning his back and leaving the ring. Cold as ice.

Despite everything he’s gone through in his well-documented struggles, Roberts has not lost a beat in his promo work and his repeated references to Cody as “Mighty Caesar” was bone-chilling. I’m very excited to see what Roberts can bring to AEW and can’t wait to see who his client turns out to be.

PAC vs Chuck Taylor w/ Trent and Orange Cassidy

This crowd was very much behind Taylor here as PAC seemed to be toying with him from the get-go. The Bastard distracted himself by trying to threaten Orange Cassidy giving Taylor the chance to make a comeback landing a devastating powerbomb to PAC for a close two count.

PAC someone managed to kick out of a Falcon Arrow after Taylor did the deal and retaliated with a cutter but the momentum was still on Taylor’s side as he countered PAC in the counter to set up the Awful Waffle for a very close two count. A missed moonsault would be the end for Taylor as PAC locked in the Brutalizer for the win.

PAC locks in the Brutalizer on Chuck Taylor

Cassidy had a staredown in the ring with PAC after the match but the Lucha Brothers reared their heads again and began to beat down the Best Friends.

PAC got on the mic and revealed they had formed a new group called Death Triangle and sought to put the AEW roster on notice.

A fun match where Taylor got to show off his singles ability and put over the new group. I’m not totally sold on the name but they’re an interesting group that will likely play a role in the upcoming Blood and Guts special.

Jake Hager w/ Santana and Ortiz vs QT Marshall w/ Brandi Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes

Hager started out slapping Marshall around and running through Marshall’s offence. Marshall did his best to try and mount a comeback but a massive running lariat from Hager followed by a standing arm triangle submission ended the match as Marshall had to tap out.  Hager refused to release the hold as Dustin tried to aid him but the numbers game from the Inner Circle members took them down. Cody came down to help but a chair shot from Ortiz stopped him in his tracks.

A surprising appearance from Matt Jackson cleared out most of the adversaries but Hager couldn’t be kept down as he gave Matt a nasty spinebuster.

Jake Hager demolishes QT Marshall with a hellacious lariat

Finally, a casual looking Hangman Page waltzed to the ring, placed his beer on the turnbuckle and took out the Inner Circle and finished off Hager with a Buckshot Lariat. As he took a victory sip of his beer, Matt went to confront Page but was flipped off for his trouble.

There was a lot contained in this segment and it all worked well. Hager looked strong, the Inner Circle showed their numbers are effective while being more aggressive and Page looked great while continuing a key story beat from AEW Revolution with his disputes with Matt. Great storytelling.

Jon Moxley and Darby Allin vs Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara

Before Moxley could get to the ring, he was assaulted by people in the crowd wearing hoodies and masks that turned out to be Santana, Ortiz and Hager. They took Moxley out to the arena hallways and beat him half to death as Jericho looked on with glee.

The match wouldn’t be called however as Allin was prepared to face both men and the referee rang the bell for the match to begin.

Allin held his own but the handicap was too great with the Inner Circle members taking back control and beginning to toy with Allin. Jericho tried to win with the Walls of Jericho but Allin managed to get the rope to break the hold.

Chris Jericho looks to make Darby Allin tap in the Walls of Jericho

After the break, the Inner Circle were still victimising Allin but his fighting spirit couldn’t be contained as he fired up and struck back on shaky legs, and even managed to topple the entire Inner Circle with a Coffin Drop from the top rope to the outside.

Jericho interrupted a pin attempt from Allin onto Guevara and stopped a retaliating Allin in his tracks by hitting the Judas Effect on Allin as he dove to the outside before tossing him back into the ring to get the pin victory for the Inner Circle.

As the Inner Circle were ready to celebrate, a staggering Moxley came down to the ring with a chair and fought well against the Inner Circle but couldn’t overcome the 5 vs 1 advantage. The Inner Circle finished off with a three-man assisted powerbomb off the stage through a table. Moxley would not be walking out this time.

This match encapsulated the strategy of this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite with multi-layered segments that weaved together multiple stories and put over talent all in one. It’s nice to see the planning and attempts at honouring long term investment for fans that WWE sorely lacks in a lot of its feuds and programming and gave us a great follow up episode to AEW Revolution that kept the fires burning and the action exciting.

All pictures and videos provided by AEW

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