Before we look at this week’s Dynamite, I just wanted to wish Jim Ross all the best on his way to recovery. This week’s show saw some big matches on paper. Eddie Kingston faced Lance Archer in the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, and Ruby Soho took on Penelope Ford in the TBS Championship Tournament. Jungle Boy was in action against Brandon Cutler, Bobby Fish fought Anthony Greene, and Cody Rhodes looked for redemption as he wrestled Malakai Black in the main event. First off, Bryan Danielson and Dustin Rhodes looked to progress in the first match of the AEW World Championship Elimination Tournament.

AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Match: Bryan Danielson vs Dustin Rhodes

Danielson and Rhodes went back and forth in the early goings, with both men trying to gain the upper hand. The American Dragon worked Rhodes’s legs while driving his knees into his side. Danielson locked in a bow and arrow, and as they got to their feet, he landed some strikes. After taking an uppercut, Danielson hit a Tope Suicida, but Rhodes hit a senton off the apron shortly after. Back in the ring, Danielson dropkicked Rhodes in the knee, but The Natural got to his feet and hit a suplex. They traded chops until Danielson worked Rhodes on the mat, trying to make him tap out.

Rhodes hit a bold superplex off the top rope and almost got the victory. They exchanged right hands until Rhodes hit a powerslam and inverted suplex, but only got a two-count. Rhodes landed 10 mounted punches and went for a bulldog, but Danielson knocked him into the corner with a shotgun dropkick. Rhodes hit a clothesline, but Danielson fought back to attempt the LeBell lock. Rhodes got up and they continued to trade strikes until Danielson hit an enzuigiri. Rhodes countered a Busaiku knee with a piledriver, but Danielson kicked out. Danielson launched a succession of kicks and locked in a guillotine to make Rhodes pass out. Danielson goes through to the next round.

Thoughts: What a fantastic match. Danielson brings out the best in his opponents, but credit to Rhodes here. Being able to pull out a performance like that at his age is nothing short of amazing. ***½

Sting Addresses The Darby Allin Situation

Tony Schiavone was in the ring and said despite what “that rat” said, we all know who injured Darby Allin. He introduced Sting to the ring to give an update on his friend. Before Sting could talk, MJF walked out. He said Florida should try to show some class for once. He called Sting “Allin’s emo daddy,” then said he was there for a gentlemen’s chat. MJF said the truth was Allin wasn’t coming back, and Sting should stop trying to distract the fans from the truth. The fans started chanting, “shut the f*** up.” MJF told sting you can’t fool people who solve their problems with “gun violence and incest,” but he wasn’t fooling MJF.

He called Sting a bad friend, saying he always has been, and stated it was his fault what happened to Allin. He said Allin was in the same spot as Lex Luger, “in a wheelchair.” Sting attacked him as Shawn Spears and Wardlow attacked him. Spears hit him with a chair multiple times. Spears set up a chair and MJF sat down on it. He said he knew Allin was watching and asked if he’d broken him mentally. He said if Allin came back, this was his future. He’d always be second best to him, and him alone. He called himself the past, the present, and the future of professional wrestling. As he walked off, Sting got up, but MJF knocked him back down.

Thoughts: What a segment. MJF is the best at what he does right now in the world of professional wrestling. A vicious promo and excellent use of time on the mic. When and not if Allin comes back, their match is going to be incredible.

TBS Championship Tournament First Round Match: Penelope Ford vs Ruby Soho

Ford threw her jacket at Soho before the bell and attacked her. She continued to build momentum, but Soho caught her with a boot to the face and a two-count. Ford got kicked in the face between the ropes as The Bunny ran down to distract her. Ford kicked her in the face as the momentum shifted in her favour, slowing the pace with a headlock. Soho got kneed in the face, then attacked in the corner. Ford choked Soho between the ropes then got dropkicked outside as The Bunny attacked her with the referee distracted.

Soho got back in the ring and hit a backdrop suplex after countering Ford’s somersault attack. Soho hit a knee strike and enzuigiri but only got a two-count. Ford hit a cutter, but couldn’t get the win. Soho countered a Boston crab with a roll-up but only go the two. Ford hit a back-heel kick, then dropped Soho. The Bunny threw in brass knuckles, but the ref spotted them and kicked them out. This allowed Soho to roll up Ford for the win. After the match, The Bunny entered the ring. Red Velvet ran down to help even the odds, which saw Ford and The Bunny run off.

Thoughts: Not a bad match, but a bit sloppy at points. Ford was impressive, but Soho was always going to get the win to build her momentum in AEW. **½

Bobby Fish vs Anthony Greene

After an uneven start by Fish, he was able to take control with some big kicks and an over-the-ropes senton. His MMA background saw Fish beat the hell out of Greene. Greene got suplexed into the ropes, then ate a kick to the head which allowed Fish to pick up the win. Fish continued to beat down Greene after the bell, pushing for that heel persona. CM Punk ran out to make the save.

Thoughts: Fish finally getting a win on Dynamite makes me happy. Thoroughly deserved and impressive as ever. Also, I’ll take Fish vs Punk any day of the week. **

AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Match: Lance Archer vs Eddie Kingston

As Archer walked to the ring, Kingston attacked him from behind. They battled to the ring until Archer attacked a “fan” and chokeslammed him on Kingston from the apron. The bell rang and Archer charged at Kingston in the corner a couple of times. Archer chopped Kingston and he retaliated with a poke to the eye. Archer went for Blackout, but Kingston reversed into a reverse headlock. The Murderhawk Monster clotheslined Kingston from behind, then hit a baseball slide to knock Kingston outside. They traded chops outside.

Kingston hit multiple chops in the ring, but Archer stopped him in his tracks. Archer drove his foot into Kingston’s throat in the corner and landed a powerslam. He hit a second rope body splash and continued to punish Kingston. Archer continued to dominate. He went to the top rope and botched a moonsault, landing on his head. It looked really bad. The ref checked on him as Archer rolled outside so Doc Sampson could check on him. It was clear Archer was struggling quite a bit. Kingston rolled him up to pick up the win and advance.

Thoughts: Archer was dominant until the botch. It was an unfortunate end to the match, but I’m happy Kingston won. ***

America’s Top Team And Guevara Square Off

Dan Lambert, Ethan Page, and Scorpio Sky hit the ring. Page responded to the fans chanting they suck to say Inner Circle sucked. He said he would explain exactly why they sucked, laying into each member. He mocked Hager for losing to Sky, then ripped on Santana and Ortiz. Page then turned his attention to Jericho. He mentioned him flirting with Page Van Zant last week, but said the only thing he was flirting with was Jorge Masvidal’s knee. Page said they were the future of the business, and not the PA nightmare Sammy Guevara.

Guevara walked out and told page to “shut the hell up.” Guevara said life is unfair, but instead of bitching and moaning, he became TNT Champion. He asked Lambert for his stipulation, calling him a “fat-faced dips***.” Lambert said he was actually proud of Guevara, then continued to mock him. He said at Full Gear they get their 10-man tag match if Guevara defends the TNT Championship against Ethan Page next week on Dynamite. Also, if Guevara loses, he would have to leave Inner Circle. Guevara said yes, but if he wins next week he gets to choose the three members of America’s Top Team. Sky and Page attacked Guevara, but Santana and Ortiz ran out, along with Jake Hager. A little later on, Guevara came out and held up pieces of card that mocked America’s “Plop” Team, and called Ethan Page “loose pecs,” saying it would be a “Boston TNT Party.”

Thoughts: Sammy Guevara continues to prove he’s one of AEW’s top stars. Next week should be great, but he’s clearly going to win, and this match at Full Gear is going to be awesome. I just hope Masvidal is involved.

Jungle Boy vs Brandon Cutler

Jungle Boy knocked Cutler outside and hit a Tope Suicida off the bat. Back in the ring, Jungle Boy countered Panama Sunrise. Cutler prematurely celebrated, which allowed Jungle Boy to lock in the Snare Trap for the win. After the match, Jungle Boy grabbed a mic and said the match was a nice warm-up. He said he was ready to go again and asked one of the “Elite pieces of s***” to come out. Nobody came out, so he locked in the Snare Trap again. Adam Cole walked out and called him an embarrassment. Cole said how about they fight right here, right now. Cole acted as a distraction to allow The Young Bucks to superkick Jungle Boy from behind.

All three of The Super Elite attacked Jungle Boy on the ramp. Matt and Nick hit a BTE Trigger, as Cole hit Last Shot. They left Jungle Boy on the ramp, then walked off, only to come back and embarrass him further. They threw him off the stage and into a table. The Bucks asked for a replay as officials checked on Jungle Boy.

Thoughts: Well, it was a pointless match, but The Super Elite made sure they got some payback. **

Malakai Black vs Cody Rhodes

The bell rang and the two locked up. Neither man could get the upper hand in the early stages. Cody stomped on Black’s head, and after a failed headlock by Black, Cody dropped him with a powerslam. Cody went for a figure four, but Black gouged at his eyes.  Black grabbed a steel chair from under the ropes. Brock Anderson and Lee Johnson walked to the ring. Brock took the chair off Black as Cody locked in the Figure-Four, but Black grabbed the bottom rope. Black hit a range of kicks that knocked the wind out of Cody. He set up a table at ringside. Cody took advantage and put Black through it with a Cross Rhodes, busting Black wide open.

Cody was then shown with blood all over his face as well. Andrade El Idolo came out and distracted Arn who was standing in the ring. Jose Garcia tried to attack Arn, but he hit a spinebuster. Black then sprayed black mist in Arn’s eyes as PAC ran out and attacked Andrade on the ramp. Back in the ring, Black hit a moonsault off the second rope. Cody hit Cross Rhodes but only got a two-count. Black booted Cody in the chest, then a diving foot stomp off the top rope. He almost got the win with a bridged German suplex, but Cody kicked out.

Black connected with Black Mass. Black went for a moonsault to the outside, but Cody moved and hit a Tope Suicida instead. Cody hit a Cody Cutter off the top rope, then nailed him with a Cross Rhodes. He landed a Tiger Driver and picked up the win over Black.

Thoughts: A pretty decent main event. It wasn’t quite as good as I thought it might be, and it seems the crowd weren’t behind Cody. ***

What Else Went Down

Kenny Omega cut a promo backstage alongside The Super Elite. It was a vicious verbal attack on Adam Page, mocking their time together and saying if people knew him like he did, they’d be chanting “coward s***.’ Afterwards, The Best Bout Machine applauded The Bucks and Cole for helping him with his lines. Brilliant.

FTR appeared in a video promo with Tully Blanchard talking about beating The Lucha Bros. again at Full Gear to take their AEW Tag Team Championships from them. Penta spoke in Spanish, then Abrahantes translated and said, “revenge is coming.” Harwood responded and said if you thought the black eye was bad, wait until Full Gear.

Schiavone was backstage with Britt Baker D.M.D. She cut a promo on her Full Gear opponent, Tay Conti. She mocked her showing off her body, and said she was going to beat the ass Conti loved to show off so much.

MJF and Spears were backstage when Wardlow asked about being shoved in front of Sting backstage. MJF said he just got scared. He said it was a lot of pressure for Wardlow to be solely responsible for him, so assigned Spears to be Wardlow’s “accountabilibuddy.” It looks as though the wheels are in motion to see Wardlow finally turn on Maxwell.

Tony Schiavone was backstage with Lio Rush and Dante Martin. Rush knocked Matt Sydal until Martin interrupted and defended him. Rush announced they’d be facing the Sydal brothers soon.

Jon Moxley cut a promo backstage. He said he was going to be honest and that he was thinking of his daughter. He said she grabbed his finger and at that moment, he didn’t care about anything other than his kid and getting safely home to her. As a result, people are going to get hurt. Moxley said he would win the whole thing.

Miro appeared in another video package. He said his wife needed her champion back. he said he would become champion again, but not for God, for her. Miro said he would fight a thousand men and snap a thousand necks. He would return to her with blood on his hands, and it was on him. Are we getting Lana in AEW soon? Miro has been talking a lot about her in these recent promos.

Match of the Night: Bryan Danielson vs Dustin Rhodes

Best in Show: MJF

Overall Rating: ***

All images and videos courtesy of AEW – Very special thanks to Fite TV for the captures

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