Coming off the highly successful Full Gear PPV, did AEW Dynamite manage to deliver a follow up to match?

Brian Cage vs Matt Sydal

Cage certainly had the power advantage with Sydal trying to overcome it with his speedy offence.

A cheeky counter from a powerbomb set up Sydal for a Meteora to the ramp on the outside leaving Cage winded.

A twisting slam and twisting senton from Sydal gave some close two-counts but Cage would not yield.

A spiking hurricanrana pin came dangerously close to a three-count but Cage still managed to kick out.

The top rope would be Sydal’s undoing as a diving senton was impressively caught by Cage into the Drill Claw for the win.

Sydal got to show off his unique offence but Cage got to take the victory in a tremendous fashion none the less. Cage is a beast and definitely needs an opponent that can match his impressive power game.

After the match, Ricky Starks talked up how impressive Cage’s victory was and promised Team FTW were on the hunt for the TNT Championship.

Cody Rhodes vs Shaq?

Cody came out to the ring to address his loss at Full Gear and congratulated Darby Allin on his TNT Championship victory.

However, Cody said he didn’t intend to ask for his rematch and instead wanted to write an injustice he had suffered in the past, losing to MJF.

Before he could continue, he was interrupted by the debuting Jade Cargill who gave what can be best described as a rough promo.

Cargill gave me Eva Marie vibes. This was a stilted WWE style promo full of pauses after every 4-5 words, lame overwritten dialogue no real human would ever say and coy references to the size of someone’s junk. On the plus side, Cargill has a great look and physique so hopefully, her ring work will overcome the issues with her promo game.

She then revealed that the “giant” she’d been referring to in her promo who Cody had got the ire of was Shaquille O’Neal.

Brandi Rhodes then came out in the fieriest state I’ve ever seen her. She laid into Cargill heavily and completely outperformed Cargill’s promo.

After a cameo from Jerry Lynn broke up the two women, Brian Cage and Ricky Starks blindsided Cody before Allin came down for the save with his thumbtack jacket. As Team Taz retreated, suddenly Will Hobbs came out and did basically nothing other than tear his T-shirt off. Maybe he was late because he was busy cutting holes in his T-shirt.

This was really weird and really odd. Cargill coming out was bizarre, especially because she took so long to reveal what the hell she was doing there, not to mention the abysmal promo work.

As well, I can’t imagine anything I want to see less than a nearly 50-year-old Shaq with his bad knees in a wrestling ring. I get TNT have their Shaq show but this feels like lame press attention-grabbing in all the wrong ways. WCW vibes, in a bad way.

Bunkhouse Match: The Natural Nightmares vs The Butcher & The Blade w/ The Bunny

What is a Bunkhouse match? Well, it’s a hardcore match with lots of bales of hay of course!

This match was absolutely brutal in all the right ways. It felt like these two teams had missed out on their PPV payday and wanted to show that they should have had a place there.

These guys threw everything at each other, QT Marshall got busted open from an El Kabong with a guitar, Blade was busted open with a ladder shot from Dustin Rhodes and Rhodes even hit a bulldog on Butcher through a plywood crate.

The carnage left Marshall and Blade in the ring as Marshall hit a huge elbow drop off a ridiculously tall ladder only for Blade to still manage a kick out, blood pouring out his forehead in the process.

The Natural Nightmares took the win after knocking the Bunny through a table via bumping into Blade then knocking him out with a cowbell strike and Diamon Cutter combination for the win.

A really fun, bloody brawl that felt like the PPV match they should have had. This may be hard for some to stomach due to the blood but for me, it was an absolute blast.

MJF’s Induction to the Inner Circle

Chris Jericho invited his Inner Circle pals to the ring but noticed a lack of Sammy Guevara. He powered on and introduced MJF and Wardlow who were to be inducted into the group.

A faux emotional MJF told the crowd in his 5 long years in the business he’d managed to make a name for himself despite his father’s measly gift of £1 million dollars. How humble…

He then read some poetry he’d claimed to have written which was actually just the lyrics to “All me” by Drake. I’d hoped that MJF would bust into “Ho shut the f**k up” afterwards but sadly this didn’t happen.

An incensed Ortiz stopped MJF in his tracks and said Jericho needs to see through MJF’s charade. Jericho said MJF had beaten him fair and square and that Ortiz would have to make the new entrants work for the team.

To try and smooth things over more, MJF celebrated Jericho’s birthday with balloons and confetti falling around the arena, tickets to Las Vegas for the group and a rousing sing-a-long of Happy Birthday.

This is one of the most interesting stories on AEW Dynamite that I’m intrigued to see play out. It will certainly elicit some laughs along the way at the very least.

The Young Bucks are looking for some new challengers

Alex Marvez interviewed the Bucks who apologised for super kicking him. The Bucks stated they wanted to face fresh competition and revealed they would have a match next week for the AEW Tag Team Championships against the indie team Top Flight.

Top Flight have looked good in their matches on AEW Dark so it will be exciting to see what they can do with the Bucks. On top of that, the Bucks acting as a tag team equivalent to what Cody was doing with the TNT Championship is a great avenue to try out.

Scorpio Sky vs Shawn Spears w/ Tully Blanchard

The animosity between these two was palpable as they laid in each other early with hefty blows and sharp chops.

During the break, Spears had kept control and set up a set of steps on the outside but coming back, Sky started mounting his comeback.

He hit a big diving clothesline to the outside on Spears and followed up with a rebound cutter in the middle of the ring for a close two-count.

The pair duelled on the outside as the pair teased being put through the steps in a fantastic sequence full of dodges and counters. However, it was Sky who would succumb to a backbreaker across the steel from Spears.

Sky had Spears in a Scorpio death-lock but Blanchard used the distraction to sneak a metal slug into the corner of the ring and directed Spears to it.

Blanchard then used a decoy slug to distract the referee and Sky, allowing Spears to deck Sky with his now loaded glove to take the tainted victory.

An entertaining match between these two with solid ring work and an inventive finish that leaves the door open for more between these two. Great stuff.

Omega wants no gimmicks for his AEW World Championship match

Omega was scheduled to have an interview with Dasha but didn’t show up. Marvez caught him in the car park and asked Omega about his upcoming match with Moxley scheduled for December 2.

In response, Omega stated that winning was the only way to reclaim the notoriety that Moxley had stolen from him. He lamented people asking where the Best Bout Machine version of Omega had gone and said he looked to reclaim that title by beating Moxley in a straight one on one match with no gimmicks and regular rules.

This is exciting to see a more focused and driven Omega that has more nuance to it than his straight crazy-heel antics he had hinted at earlier in the year.

Tay Conti w/ Anna Jay vs Red Velvet w/ Brandi Rhodes

The pair traded pins early with Velvet coming out with the momentum after a standing moonsault.

An aggravated Conti started using her judo training to toss Velvet around the ring and got a close two count before the ad break with a nasty back kick to the head.

Coming back, Velvet had taken back control with a series of clotheslines and a back elbow. This was followed by double knees to Conti, after a drop toe hold and a snapmare stunner, but Conti held on.

After a pair of roundhouses to each other, Anna Jay tried to offer Conti a chair while the referee was distracted but she refused.

Despite the distraction, Conti was still able to win after dodging a kick from Velvet and following up with a punt kick and Gory Special/knee strike to take the win.

I’m interested to see where this goes with Conti and Jay as they’re both great young talents who are ripe to be developed as a pair.

Penta El Zero vs Rey Fénix II

Eddie Kingston came to introduce the match but first told the crowd that despite his loss to Moxley and having to live with the fact he said “I quit”, he would not let it stop him and he vowed to be AEW World Champion.

The pair hit a signature rally of high-flying Lucha combat to start off with neither man managing an advantage.

The atmosphere of the match changed quickly however as Pentagon started to tear away at Fénix’s mask leaving part of his space exposed, an absolute insult and warrant for disqualification in Lucha libre.

Back from the break, Penta looked to hit the Penta Driver, but Fénix snuck out and started to mount a comeback with some high-flying kicks, and a hurricanrana rebounded from the middle rope for a close two-count.

Fénix then began to tear at Penta’s mask too ripping it in half as the two brothers started tearing each other apart.

After a spiking inverted DDT with a flip and Penta driver to the apron, Penta finished off his brother with another Penta driver for the win.

After the match, Kingston congratulated Penta while deriding Fénix to further drive Penta away from his brother. Suddenly, PAC’s music hit as the Bastard had returned.

He told Kingston he’d made a big mistake as referees tried to prevent him and Kingston from brawling to close out the show.

This match couldn’t match the brilliance of the pair’s first duel but this had lots of great drama with the mask tearing and the brothers splintering due to the toxic influence of Kingston. The commentators really sold this aspect and set up a natural feud between PAC and Kingston that I cannot wait to see unfold.

AEW Dynamite had a great follow up show with the one major downside being the Cody and Shaq stuff. Other than that, all the matches were great and featured some great underutilised talent who got to showcase what they can do.

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