AEW Dynamite was one year old as all the titles were on the line tonight. Did this anniversary show bring a host of new champions? Let’s find out.

AEW World Tag Team Championship Match: FTR w/ Tully Blanchard vs Best Friends

Best Friends started the match well with a solid defence against the brutish offence of the tag champions but a keen tag from FTR put them in the drivers’ seat as they brutalised Trent and kept him from tagging out.

A huge avalanche backdrop from Dax Harwood to Trent looked devastating but he was able to get the knees up after a follow-up attack from Cash Wheeler and managed the hot tag to Chuck Taylor.

After tossing both men to the outside, Taylor hit an impressive tope con giro and threw Harwood back into the ring to plant him with a Falcon Arrow. Despite doing the deal, Taylor only managed a two-count.

Half and half/Sole Food combo still wouldn’t put FTR away as Harwood was able to take the fight back to Best Friends and put the hurt back onto Trent.

Trent and Wheeler brawled to the outside and over the barricade where Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford were playing with an arcade cabinet. Trent missed a spear and went clattering through the machine. Sabian demanded Ford “go get him” as she ran backstage.

FTR would reclaim the title after using some trickery to distract the referee and get a cheap shot with the title belts to put Taylor away.

After the match, Miro barrelled down to the ring and took out the Best Friends along with Sabian.

This was a great opener that had a great back and forth dynamic and fantastic tag work from both teams. The only issue I have is that the Miro/Sabian additions detracted from the match. There are far better ways to start a feud that doesn’t deter from the match quality of the previous.

Miro & Kip Sabian vs Lee Johnson & Sean Maluta

An enraged Miro brutalised his opponents in quick fashion with a small assist from Sabian with a big top rope splash. Miro made Maluta tap with the camel clutch.

After the match, Miro told Best Friends that they broke his shit and its game over.

Miro is a beast and he has a natural charisma. I think he’d be better served in a singles feud as him and Sabian don’t seem to have much of natural chemistry as a team.

MJF makes an announcement with Chris Jericho

After telling the fans they’re only booing him cause they’re jealous of his success, he invited Chris Jericho to the ring.

Jericho came down with the Inner Circle in hand and demanded Sammy Guevara put on the giant oversized jacket MJF got for him.

After admiring Jericho’s abs and luscious locks, MJF revealed his announcement that he wants to join the Inner Circle.

Ortiz said they had no interest in MJF joining but Jericho said they were undecided. He then offered that they finally face each other… over a steak dinner.

This was a very funny segment and the Jericho and MJF passive aggression is a joy to watch. I guess we’re getting to watch a steak dinner next week.

Britt Baker and Tony Schiavone have a spa day

Baker revealed the 5th rules of a role model, to be the baddest bitch. After waxing Schiavone, Baker revealed she would be in action next week.

First a kick to the face, now hot wax hair removal, poor Schiavone.

TNT Championship match: Cody vs Orange Cassidy

A back to blonde Cody seemed to struggle with tackling the lackadaisical offence of Cassidy before getting frustrated and shoving Cassidy knocking his sunglasses to the floor.

Cassidy used a lazy dodge to escape a double axe handle attempt from Cody and hit a series of thunderous kicks. An enraged Cody tried to retaliate but Cassidy hit a surprising superkick followed by a suicide dive.

On the outside, Dark Order threatened Cody before Jon Silver tried to strike Cody with the TNT Championship belt. However, the referee caught this and ejected the group.

A fire lit under the pair as they began brawling and Cody began attacking Cassidy’s legs viciously.

Cassidy managed to hold on with a razor-thin kick out from an avalanche reverse suplex and he managed to get a second win with tornado DDT and Michinoku Driver but Cody kicked out.

Cody managed to lock in the Figure-four leglock as the pair duelled in the lock reversal to reversal before coming to the ropes for the break. Cassidy quickly took the break as a chance to hit an apron Beach Break before following up with a thunderous rally and another Beach Break in the ring.

Sadly, the time taken to get Cody back into the ring after the first Beach Break was long enough to allow Cody to get a kick out at the last second.

The pair kept fighting right up until the 20-minute time limit rang as the referee was about to count the pin on a crucifix pin from Cassidy. Cody retains despite looking like his number was up.

This was a great match with the Cassidy character being full formed in the vein of drunken kung-fu. His whole style is a strategy to throw off his opponents. Cody all showed a dark edge here that may lead credence to the concept of heel Cody and Bucks teaming up as the dark Elite. We shall see.

Matt Hardy’s assailant revealed

Hardy revealed he was cleared to compete again when a vignette played showing pictures of Hardy being burnt. It was revealed to be Guevarra who also claimed responsibility for the attacks on Hardy. The man who assaulted Hardy was the man he’d been feuding with for months… who could have guessed?

Tag Team Tombola

Schiavone was out to hold a tombola to determine who would face off in a four-way match to determine the challengers for FTR’s AEW World Tag Team Championship.

The teams revealed were:

  • Private Party
  • Jon Silver and Alex Reynolds
  • The Butcher and the Blade
  • The Young Bucks

The Bucks superkicked everyone and stared down FTR.

We’re at a bit of an odd situation with the Bucks/FTR teasing as they’re both heels at the moment. Also, the Bucks heel stuff isn’t clicking as it should. There’s no nuance or drive, it’s just kicking people in the face because they’re bad guys now.

AEW Women’s World Championship Match: Hikaru Shida vs Big Swole

The pair started with a swift rally before brawling to the outside. Shida took advantage with her signature knee lift to the apron before going to break.

Swole had wrestled back control during the break and hit a pair of cutters, one on the outside, one on the inside but only managed a two-count.

A dirty dancing attempt was countered into a straightjacket German suplex for Shida for a close two-count. Swole managed to land the Dirty Dancing and came really close to a victory but Shida grabbed the rope at the last second.

Shida would take the win after a great sequence as Shida span out of the Dirty Dancing to counter with an elbow strike and followed up with a knee strike for the win.

This match felt sloppy and the two never seemed to hit a rhythm with each other until the ending sequence. Also, the women’s division continues to be completely deserted when it comes to story developments. A year in and this is still the company’s biggest issue.

AEW World Championship Match – No DQ match: Jon Moxley vs Lance Archer

Eddie Kingston and The Lucha Brothers came down to the announce table with Kingston joining commentary. Prior to this match, the pair had been having backstage brawls all night leading to Tony Khan changing the match to no DQ.

It was hard to concentrate early on as Lance Archer’s entrance was unintentionally hilarious. He sent a backstage crew member through a branded sheet and came out wearing a ridiculous spiked helmet. He looked hilarious, like a kid playing dress-up with the pantomime wardrobe. That’s not even mentioning how his new blonde and red ponytail and silver and red tights make him look like a white chocolate KitKat.

The match silenced any titters however as the two beat the hell out of each other. The pair laid into each other with brutal strikes all through the match.

Moxley tried to set up a pair of chairs but ended up getting chokeslammed through it himself. He managed to counter a follow-up attempt from Archer with an ankle lock but Archer crawled out of the ring with the aid of Jake Roberts.

Archer looked to toss Moxley through a pair of tables he set up at ringside but Moxley countered and drove Archer through the tables with a Paradigm Shift.

The Murderhawk Monster couldn’t be held down as he managed to kick out of a Paradigm Shift at the last second and came back swinging. First, he hit a Roberts-Esque DDT followed with the Black Out. It looked like this would be the end of Moxley’s reign but he managed to shift Archer’s weight and sneak a win by pinning Archer’s shoulders for the three-count.

After the match, Archer was livid and started choking Moxley. Kingston demanded the Lucha Brothers go and help Moxley to which they hit Archer with a chair shot that he shrugged off.

Jake Roberts forced Archer to leave the ring. Kingston asked the crowd to give Moxley a round of applause and talked about their friendship and raised his hand. It was all mind games however as Kingston smashed Moxley with the Uraken and choked him out with a sleeper hold to close out the show.

This match was an all-out brawl in the best way with the pair hitting each other hell for leather. It was a really enjoyable watch and was a fun way to cap off the show. The post angle with Kingston adds more to their rivalry. The pair are essentially two sides of the same coin and the snake-like tactics of Kingston reared their ugly head.

This was a great 2 hours of wrestling action and despite a global pandemic, AEW Dynamite hasn’t lost any steam during their first year. Some problems are still present, like the women’s division lacking the support it deserves, and some angles that don’t fully click but overall, the future still looks bright for AEW. I hope their second year is just as successful. I’ve had gripes here and there but overall, AEW has been more consistently solid in their first year than WWE has managed to be in over a decade.

All pictures and videos provided by AEW

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