It’s AEW Dynamite and what did this show have for the fans? A team-up between two promotional Tag Team Champions, a member from the #1 and #2 contender tag teams clashing, a rivalry clashing that began from last year and Cody’s answer to Shaq… It’s all to play for, it’s AEW Dynamite, let’s gets reviewing.
Eddie Kingston vs. Lance Archer
The commentators let the fans know, that this feud between the two dated back to last year, during the Casino Battle Royal last May at Double or Nothing. Despite the hype of the match, you got the feeling this wasn’t going to be the end of the feud, and it should be settled at a bigger event.
Onto the match, Kingston started strong going after Archer’s legs and ribs but the raw power of Archer was on full display as he overpowered Kingston to deliver a brutal chokeslam to the outside of the ring hitting the ring canvas on his way down. As the battle continued, Archer went into full-on beast mode, smashing Kingston into the camera, the railings and choking him with his boot.
When they made there way back into the ring, Archer continued his assault by connecting with a ripcord chokeslam. Several times during the match, he could have made the cover possibly for the win, that irked Jim Ross a lot. Despite having the match in his control, Butcher and Blade appeared on the ramp with an injured Jake “The Snake” Roberts, this allowed Archer to be distracted while the Bunny handed Kingston a knuckle duster and then BOOM! Kingston struck Archer to the jaw, then the pin and the win.
The aftermath will only intensify the rivalry between the two men, as Butcher and the Blade hit Archer with the Drag the Lake, and then while Archer was held by the tag-team duo, Kingston hit a spinning back fist. Statement made.
Jon Moxley cut a promo settling up the Beach Break match against Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers. This was a decent promo, with Moxley recapping fans with previous Dynamite episodes in his own unique way, which only made him seem like more of a main eventer.
Darby Allin and Sting were in a deserted broken building as they both stated that they are “hoodlums” as the countdown to their Revolution Street Fight. It was…okay, apart from looking the part, smashing a broken window with a skateboard and a baseball bat, nothing else was of substance was there.
Chris Jericho & MJF vs Varsity Blondes
I really wanted more from this match, having seen Garrison and Pillman in previous promotions delivering exciting matches, this wasn’t what we got, it was another episode in the self-destruction of the Inner Circle.
Right from the start, it was MJF shouting that he and Guevara need to have a chat. However, the match had Jericho and MJF in full control despite some minor offence from Pillman. Every time Garrison or Pillman would get a chance to fight back, they were cut off by the tag-team work of Jericho and MJF. The swagger by both men was off-putting.
The highlight of the match was when Pillman had a chance to showcase his talents, delivering a back body drop to MJF, a high crossbody and a thrust kick to Jericho. But as soon as the match started to deliver, it was cut short, almost as if some flipped a switch, and Jericho caught Pillman with the Judas effect who springboarded off the ropes, and then Jericho hit the springboard Lionsault for the pin.
Afterwards, there was a begrudging Inner Circle salute with MJF and Guevara still at odds.
Commentator Quote: “MJF is so punchable”- Jim Ross
Jungle Boy vs. Dax Harwood (Tully Blanchard and Cash Wheeler will be handcuffed to Luchasaurus)
As per the stipulation of the match, Luchasaurus would be handcuffed to Cash Wheeler and Tully Blanchard as Jungle Boy faced Dax Harwood. The logic being it would be a fair battle with no interference from either side and, thanks to that stipulation, fans got to see a great match.
Now as I said, this was a hell of a match. Jungle Boy is someone this promotion can use to propel them into the future and this match can be easily seen credentials for that idea. Harwood, fans already know can produce a fantastic match on his own, after all, JR himself stated that the similarities between Harwood and Arn Anderson are frightening, and this match demonstrated that.
The match itself, kicked off as you think it would, Harwood playing the power game, exercising his side headlocks, the shoulder blocks and stiff chops. Jungle Boy, in comparison, speed was his strength and he used this to his benefit especially after Harwood ran into the ring post. Focusing his attention on the left shoulder, with clubbing blows and quickly attempting the Snare Trap, to no avail.
The match would slow down whenever Harwood took control, using rear chinlock, sleeper hold and side chin locks, but this only raised the tension of the match like all good stories should. You began rooting for Jungle Boy more and more, with each bout of resistance he gave, the more you’d think he might win, and to many fans surprise, he did.
The conclusion was fast and furious, (just without the cars and Vin Diesel but no less exciting) both men traded attacks, and near falls with Harwood hitting a slingshot powerbomb and Jungle Boy hitting a backstabber and two back suplexes. It was then a series of near fall roll-ups until Jungle Boy transitioned a roll-up into the Snare Trap to get the submission.
The aftermath, and what aftermath, Blanchard threw salt into the eyes of Luchasaurus and then Wheeler and himself broke free from the handcuffs. Now with no one stopping them, Blanchard and Wheeler launched their attack, beating down Luchasaurus before assaulting Jungle Boy. It was a mugging, as it was a three on one beat down and to finish Jungle Boy off with a spike piledriver with shades of The Brain Busters. As for Luchasaurus, a worse fate was held for him, as they handcuffed him to the ropes and cut his horns off and just as the trio went for Jungle Boy’s hair, Marko Stunt and Top Flight made the save but the damage was done.
Commentary Quote: “He has been involved in many types of matches but has he ever been chained to a dinosaur before?” – Excalibur.
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Shanna
Shanna came into this match on a five-match winning streak and looked to continue this run against Baker, a woman who has demonstrated how cruel and ruthless she can be within the squared circle and believes she should be the figurehead of AEW’s Women’s Division.
Baker true to form began aggressively, but Shanna, the more experienced wrestler weathered the attacks and fought back with a step-up enzuigiri. As Baker rolled out to the floor, she looked vulnerable and Shanna aimed to capitalise but missed a baseball slide thanks to the help of Reba. From there, it was all Baker who connected with a sling blade on the outside, throwing her into the railings and then punishing her against the ring post.
The conclusion saw Baker hit a crucifix rollup, and despite a short fight back from Shanna, Baker saw blood in the water and like the shark she is, attacked, attaching The Lockjaw to get the win,
The aftermath demonstrated the cruelty I mentioned, as she began torturing Shanna, first with a curb stomp and then a second LockJaw until Thunder Rosa made the save.
Hangman Page vs. Ryan Nemeth
If you have never heard of Ryan Nemeth, but you think he looks very similar to another wrestler, you may have heard of his brother though, Dolph Ziggler. On this episode of Dynamite, he made his debut against Page. Nemeth had his shot to shine in this match and he had the perfect foil in Page, who has proven during his time in AEW that he can work with any wrestler and against any style.
Nemeth demonstrated that he is someone to watch out for in the coming months as throughout the match he targeted Page’s left arm, even striking with a rude awakening and a spike DDT to get several near falls.
But this match seemed to remind fans that Page is better on his own, no Elite, no Dark Order, just a wrestler without ties and win matches. And the latter he certainly did, hitting a high impact clothesline setting up for the Buckshot Lariat for the pin.
However, throughout the match and afterwards, Matt Hardy who arrived to the ring unannounced, and began cheering for Page and afterwards, stated that he was there to him if needed.
Great entrance graphic: Hangman Page “Accompanied by Crippling Emotional Baggage.’
Cody Rhodes responds to Shaq
A response is exactly what fans wanted and if you were looking for one from Cody, you weren’t getting one. He passed his response to Arn Anderson, and that response was more aiming that a clash between Cody and Shaq would be a tag team match. Not between Cody & Brandi versus Shaq & Jade but Cody & Red Velvet versus Shaq & Jade.
As Red Velvet’s music hit, she hit the ring and took the mic to cut a fine promo. “I’m Red Velvet and I’m about to stir your bitch ass up!” This segment didn’t really showcase Cody or Arn Anderson but for the limited time she got, it was Red Velvet who was in the spotlight.
Team Taz responded to Darby Allin and Sting by attacking some merchandise guys for not having their merchandise on a selling stand and then ripping the Darby Allin and Sting merchandise. It was alright, but it didn’t showcase anything different.
The Young Bucks & The Good Brothers vs. Dark Order
The beginning of the match saw each side evenly matched, and everyone had there chance to shine. However, it was when Sliver was tagged in that you could feel the match stepping up a gear. Sliver is a force of nature and demonstrated this when he was tagged in, hitting Nick with a kick and delivering a cannonball to Matt. A brainbuster to Nick back in the ring earned him a near-fall.
The Dark Order were on full steam ahead as all members were united to hit the Fatality and would have won, except the Good Brothers interfered.
From here it would be all Bullet Club, Nick Jackson, Anderson and Gallows eliminated Silver, Uno and Reynolds with a triple powerbomb to the apron. A quadruple superkick followed up by the Meltzer Driver to Grayson allowed the Interpromotional Tag Team Champions the win.
The aftermath… Matt Jackson revealed that the winner of the Tag Team Battle Royal will earn a title shot at Revolution. They are also in the match, and if they win, they get to handpick anyone they face at that pay-per-view and as he said it he stared at the Good Brothers, a collision course perhaps?
Then, a vengeful Rey Fénix hit the ring but the numbers were too much and they devastated him. Suddenly Moxley hit the ring too and the tide had turned, Fénix hit a Tope con Hilo on The Good Brothers, then Kenny Omega arrived only to eat a fantastic Paradigm Shift. From there the show closed with the two fan favourites successful ready for what’s next.
Commentary Quote: “so many adverse different personalities in this match, with different stories and those stories, continue to evolve” – JR.
And that was AEW Dynamite, I’ll admit this is my first review of the show and I was pleasantly surprised. Stars are having their chance to shine and given matches to showcase themselves. However, the backstage promos, some really don’t further the story along which is disappointing because they have the stories to develop them. But as a set up to Beach Break, it was a good watch with a great match included.
All pics and videos courtesy of AEW