AEW Dynamite this week saw the debut of FTR and Cody defends his TNT Championship against one half of Private Party, Marq Quen. Did Cody manage to hold onto the belt or did Quen bring home the belt and celebrate with some Gin and Juice?

The Butcher & the Blade vs FTR

Dax Harwood and Blade started off in the ring with some really nice chain wrestling to open with several attempts at rolls ups from Dax Harwood and buttery smooth submission transitions that demonstrated the stripped back wrestling talent FTR offer as a team.

After a tense standoff between the teams, Cash Wheeler came face to face with the Butcher who took every opportunity to take cheap shots at Harwood in his corner while isolating Wheeler and preventing him getting a tag.

Wheeler managed to break free and get the hot tag to Harwood who went to town on the Butcher and the Blade before planting Blade with a Brainbuster. After FTR planted Butcher with a draping DDT (potentially an FTRKO reference?) Harwood took Blade to the top rope and hit a beautiful Superplex followed by a huge distance elbow drop from the adjacent turnbuckle but Blade still held on.

The match was finally put to rest after FTR took out Butcher with the Goodnight Express (a rechristened Shatter Machine) and the Mind Breaker assisted piledriver for the win.

There’s a lot of hyperbole about FTR being the best tag team in the world but this match makes those claims seem a reality. This was back to basics professional wrestling in the best way and was thoroughly entertaining without the need to be a crazy spotfest. I can’t wait to see what the other tag teams are able to get out of these pair in AEW.

After the match, the Young Bucks came to the ring interrupting a post-match interview FTR were having with Tony Schiavone to congratulate them while also laying in some barbed bragging proclaiming themselves as the best tag team in AEW.

Suddenly, Butcher and the Blade went for an attack on the Bucks as FTR fought back followed by an invading Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc before Kenny Omega and Hangman Page came down to clear everyone out.

The Bucks and FTR standoff raised tensions really interestingly but the brawl was a bit of a clustered mess that unfortunately took away from the confrontation as a whole.

Penelope Ford & Nyla Rose vs Kris Statlander & Hikaru Shida

Rose and Ford spent no time waiting as they went for their challengers from the second the bell rang and isolated Statlander from Shida with the pair showing some solid teamwork.

Statlander finally managed to knock Rose down with a stiff clothesline allowing her to get the hot tag as Shida demolished Ford with a high knee in the corner.

The villainous pair tried to fight back but Statlander and Shida stayed in control before Rose got her 2nd wind as she took both Statlander and Shida and draped them over the top rope allowing her to hit a double guillotine.

Despite this, Shida fought back and looked like she was ready to secure the win but a distraction from Kip Sabian allowed Rose to throw the AEW Women’s World Championship belt to Ford who used it to bludgeon Shida and plant her with a fisherman suplex pin for the victory.

Good stuff from all the women here that felt a lot cleaner than some of the women’s matches have been recently and could mean a title opportunity for Ford down the road.

Darby Allin and the Birdman

Darby Allin showed a video where he stated he wasn’t cleared to compete but he didn’t care as he revealed that he was at Tony Hawk’s skatepark. Allin showed a montage where he fell off a ladder an agonising amount of times trying to land a skateboard trick.

Please wear elbow pads, Allin, please.

The Inner Circle vs Best Friends and Orange Cassidy

Inner Circle brought the pain to Best Friends as Hager threw Cassidy up the stage to take him out early as soon as the bell rang.

The Inner Circle bullied their opponents as they brutalised Chuck Taylor in their corner, keeping him from getting a tag. Taylor did manage to get a tag to Trent eventually but his hot streak was caboshed pretty quickly by Hager and the dastardly tactics of Santana and Ortiz.

Trent finally got a break after hitting a tornado DDT on Ortiz and got the tag to Orange Cassidy who exploded out of the corner and laid into Hager with a pair of vicious kicks. Cassidy’s surprising agility took all of the Inner Circle off guard as he was able to hit a double hurricanrana on Santana and Ortiz.

Best Friends tried to follow up but Hager took out all of his opponents. Ortiz and Santana laid in their double team offence to put Cassidy away but Taylor shoved Santana off the top rope allowing Cassidy to get the roll-up win on Ortiz in surprising fashion.

The Inner Circle immediately started beating down Cassidy and the Best Friends after the match with the aid of Chris Jericho and his bat Floyd before using a huge bag of blood oranges to smash a bloodied Orange Cassidy as Jericho proclaimed Cassidy had been juiced.

This was a fun match that made use of Hager’s power move set in the right way which AEW have struggled to utilise properly so far. The after-match segment felt tonally off with the actual blood and oranges coming across as a little too goofy, even for an Orange Cassidy segment.

Sammy Guevara vs Colt Cabana

Cabana disrespected the Hit me up Mobile by tossing it off the stage before the match and Cabana took advantage of the enraged Guevara with his fun and speedy offence married with some stiff chops.

Guevara countered Cabana’s offence by dragging him out of the ring by his singlet and following up with a dive to the outside.

After the break, Guevara’s cockiness allowed Cabana to trick him into falling into a double boot and hitting the flying apple but couldn’t put Guevara away.

Cabana hit an impressive moonsault but could only muster a two count. He took Guevara to the top rope but a sneaky slip away allowed Guevara to counter into the GTH to get the win.

After another crushing loss, Cabana looked despondent. However, the Dark Order’s music hit as the entire entourage of the Dark Order, including a returning Evil Uno and Stu Grayson, with Brodie Lee helped Cabana to his feet and invited him back to their office.

Cabana’s losing streak is an interesting prospect for him and his presence in the Dark Order would add some needed legitimacy to their ranks.

Guevara demanded his music be played as he gloated over his win but Matt Hardy’s music hit as he came out to speak to Guevara. He said Guevara was the future but he needed to get away from Chris Jericho.

Guevara was untrusting of Hardy after he’d tried to run him over multiple times and Hardy began cycling through his personalities of Matt Hardy V1 and Damascus who seemed to want to do nothing but eat Guevara. The Spanish God ran to the back scared and confused.

I think Hardy’s multiple personality disorder character is really fun and inventive and the broken father figure relationship with Guevara looks like it could be a fun rivalry to follow through to Fyter Fest.

TNT Championship Match: Cody w/ Arn Anderson vs Marq Quen

As has been accustom with Cody matches, Cody attempted to use his superior ring experience to take advantage but the unorthodox offence of Quen took Cody by surprise Quen seemed like he’d done his homework for this match.

Despite this, Cody coming out of the break as he worked on Quen’s ankle that had been seen to be an injury he’d been dealing with since his PPV match at Double or Nothing.

Cody got cocky on the top rope allowing Quen to take advantage and plant him with an avalanche cutter followed by a middle rope suplex and standing shooting star press yet could only muster a two count.

A cutter attempt from Cody was countered into a stunning DDT in a very unique counter as Quen followed up with a series of outside dives to the veteran Cody.

Cody tried to roll out of the ring onto the ramp to avoid another high-risk move but the daredevil Quen responded with a 450 splash that looked just as painful for Cody as it did for Quen.

Quen was nursing his ankle which gave enough of a delay for Cody to get his bearings and catch his opponent after a top rope attempt into an ankle lock which unfortunately was too much for Quen with his injury as he had to tap out.

This was a great showing for Quen as a singles competitor and made him look like a million bucks. I hope Cody’s TNT defences even does half the job this did of showing the AEW audience the fantastic talent the promotion has to offer as this was a star-making showing from Quen even via a loss.

Post-match, Jake Hager came down to the ring and laid his hands on both Arn Anderson and Cody before Matt Hardy and Quen came for the save. The other Inner Circle members came out for a big brawl with everyone as referees came to break up the brawl. Cody responded to Hager stating he’d happily challenge him for the TNT Championship at Fyter Fest.

Another great title defence closed out AEW here which was a night of great ring work from all the competitors involved. There were some awkward story-building moments that didn’t fully gel but as a wrestling showcase, you couldn’t do much worse than AEW Dynamite did this week.

All pictures and videos provided by AEW

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