It was time for the semi-finals of the AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament on this week’s AEW Dynamite. With Kenny Omega and Hangman Page on opposite sides of the brackets, would the two beat the competition and set themselves up for their inevitable clash?

AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament semi-final match: Wardlow vs Hangman Page

Page came out swinging against his much larger opponent with a hellacious shotgun dropkick but failed to take the big man down. Wardlow retaliated by throwing Page around like a sack of potatoes.

Keeping up his vicious assault, Wardlow took to the top rope ready to hit a big boy senton but Page dodged at the last moment.

Despite his best efforts, Page could not knock Wardlow down with his rebound strikes from the ropes. However, after a deft standing counter from a German suplex attempt from Wardlow, Page managed to barrel him over the ropes to the outside and follow up with an Orihara moonsault.

Back in the ring, Wardlow countered the Buckshot lariat into a massive lariat for a close two-count and hit Page with the F-10. Luckily for Page, he managed to roll out of the ring to prevent a pin.

Wardlow attempted a second rope fireman’s carry on Page but the Hangman managed to counter in an astonishing avalanche fall away slam.

One Buckshot lariat and Wardlow remained upright but a second was enough to allow Page to take the win and move to the finals.

A fantastic match to open with the classic tale of David vs Goliath. Wardlow looked insanely strong being able to remain upright after the Buckshot and Page looked great as usual as the plucky underdog.

Eddie Kingston vs Matt Sydal

Kingston lambasted Moxley for not being at Dynamite despite the fact he wanted a fight. He said he was going to make an example of Sydal for attempting to upstage him at the Casino Battle Royale.

He made a remark that he never lost the match and winked at Lance Archer in the crowd. Speaking of Archer, the KitKat connection runs deeper than I initially thought. Man’s got a thing about KitKats for sure.

Kingston fought to overpower Sydal but his speed and technique got the better of Kingston early on. Despite this, a catch from Kingston was converted into a Uranage planting Sydal into the mat before the break.

Sydal won an exchange on the middle rope and managed to hit a Frankensteiner followed by a top rope Meteora but only managed a two-count. A Kitchen Sink and a spinning back fist stopped speedy Sydal in his tracks as Kingston made Sydal tap with Moxley’s bulldog choke submission.

Kingston wouldn’t relinquish the hold as the Bunny brought a microphone to Kingston who started calling Sydal “Mox” and demanding he quit. After Sydal said he quit into the microphone, Kingston was wide-eyed and repeated the phrase “I’m sorry Mox, I’m sorry”.

Good little showing from both men with the trance-like state of Kingston afterwards coming across as bone-chilling.

The Young Bucks and FTR discuss their upcoming match

Dual screens saw the two teams discuss their AEW World Tag Team Championship match for Full Gear as the Bucks refused to accept that the attack from last week would prevent them competing.

The main take away here was that the Bucks said that if they lost the match, they’d never challenge for the AEW World Tag Team titles ever again.

In all honesty, this outcome might be positive for the division. The Bucks certainly don’t need any help getting over and a title win isn’t really necessary for them. They would be much better served to help getting over some of the newer tag teams in AEW to strengthen the division.

The Inner Circle Town Hall Meeting

Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez were hosting the town hall meeting that would decide whether MJF would join the Inner Circle.

Questions were accepted from wrestlers in the crowd before a surprise appearance from Eric Bischoff saw him ask the last round of questions.

Bischoff said MJF and Jericho had prima donna tendencies and asked what was preventing the two from killing each other if MJF joined.

MJF argued he’d done everything he could for Jericho but Jericho responded with the fact he hadn’t beaten him. He challenged MJF to a match for Full Gear and said if MJF wins, he could join.

Ortiz got on the mic and said he and Sammy Guevara had no interest in MJF joining. They challenged MJF and Wardlow to a match for next week.

A fun segment that spans off into some interesting matches and a fiery standoff between Jericho and MJF. Heel vs heel usually doesn’t work but this is a fantastic way to get around that awkward booking scenario.

TNT Championship Lumberjack match: Cody vs Orange Cassidy

Both men were clearly fiercely determined to take the championship here with Cassidy barely messing around with his antics before locking Cody into a deep headlock.

Cody retaliated with a stalling suplex and some push-ups but his showboating was met with Cassidy powering out of a follow-up suplex attempt from Cody into a stalling one of his own.

After no-selling a crossbody from Cassidy and nearly locking in the figure-four leglock, Cassidy countered and managed a swinging DDT.

After the break, Dark Order and the other lumberjacks were brawling with each other as Cassidy and Cody duelled on the top rope before Cody superplexed Cassidy over to the outside landing on the lumberjacks.

Cassidy got his second wind managing a flying DDT and Beach Break in an impressively fluid sequence but Cody still kicked out.

Dark Order got in the ring with one distracting the referee and Jon Silver taking a cheap shot at Cassidy. This allowed Cody to hit the Cross Rhodes and take the win.

The lumberjacks all brawled in the ring after as Darby Allin looked on in the rafters at his opponent for Full Gear.

This was an exciting match with Cassidy looking great and Cody demonstrating a mean streak but the ending made no sense. The Dark Order are still feuding with Cody and took several shots at him during the match yet attack Cassidy during their run in? It was a cheap way to not have Cody lose and Cassidy look strong and didn’t make much if any sense.

NWA World Women’s Championship match: Serene Deeb (c) vs Leyla Hirsch

The newly crowned champion Deeb was in trouble early on with the amateur wrestling style of Hirsch seeing her able to outpower Deeb. Despite this, Deeb managed to come out on top of the opening exchange with some keen mat wrestling.

Hirsch laid possum and after some vicious kicks, got an armbar onto Deeb. She had to relinquish the hold as Deeb pushed Hirsch’s shoulders to the mat to cause a pin.

After the break, Hirsch had remained in control and hit a nasty German suplex before scaling the turnbuckle. Her moonsault was dodged by Deeb who hit a twisting neckbreaker and Rude Awakening before locking in a submission for the victory.

A good technical match here that was very enjoyable to watch but it remains a shame that neither of the women has been majorly featured competitors in the AEW women’s division. A great showcase but the division needs more to it than that.

After the match, Hikaru Shida had a 15-second promo where she challenged Nyla Rose for the AEW World Women’s Championship at Full Gear. Fifteen-second promos don’t cut the mustard. AEW still must do better with its women’s division.

Shawn Spears w/ Tully Blanchard vs VSK

Spears didn’t mess about as he hit the C4 immediately and slithered onto VSK for the lackadaisical pin.

After the match, Spears dragged someone in a bull costume at ringside into the ring who had thrown sweets at him.

As Spears back was turned to chat to Blanchard, the bull revealed themselves to be Scorpio Sky who hit the TKO on Spears.

I hope these two get a chance to really showcase at Full Gear as they’re both criminally underutilised talents on the roster.

AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament semi-final match: Penta El Zero Miedo w/ Rey Fénix vs Kenny Omega

Omega started the match with a T-shirt on before revealing he was wearing the AAA Mega Championship that he’d won by defeating Rey Fénix.

The pair began a chop fight before Omega took Penta’s recently removed glove and slapped him in the face with it. Omega begged Penta to chop him but it was a ruse for Omega to take a cheap shot at Penta with a gut kick. Penta managed to outwit a cocky Omega with a harsh chop and a beautiful backstabber after a running rebound from the corner.

The pair were back to striking after the break with Omega taking advantage with deft head scissors after a running strike attempt from Penta. He followed with a signature dive to the outside but was stopped in his tracks by a stiff kick from Penta as he tried to get back into the ring.

Penta had managed two close pin attempts but Omega came back hard with a series of snap-dragon suplexes followed by a high knee, a powerbomb and a devastating V-Trigger but Penta managed to hold on.

Another V-Trigger to Penta saw Omega attempt a One-Winged Angel but Penta managed to fight out of it. Omega went to set up Penta on the top rope for an avalanche snap-dragon but Penta kept fighting and knocked Omega to the outside before hitting a devastating Panama Sunrise to Omega on the entrance ramp.

Penta hit the Penta driver in the ring but Omega just kicked out at the last second. Omega fought back trying for the One-Winged Angel again but Penta countered it into his patented arm snap to clip Omega’s wing.

After countering the last rally from Penta, Omega finally managed to get the One-Winged Angel on Penta and took the win sending him to the finals where he will come face to face with his former partner Hangman Page.

It’s a real shame Fénix wasn’t able to compete due to injury but Penta and Omega know each other so well they managed a sensational match none the less. Great action, great in-ring drama and just a fun watch throughout.

A good night of AEW Dynamite with consistently strong match quality for the entire show and some good story developments leading into Full Gear. The only disappointments were the really bad finish to the TNT championship match and the lack of any story development for the women’s division once again.

All pictures and videos provided by AEW

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