This week’s AEW Dynamite promised a big debut, and we definitely got one. Adam Page defended his World Championship against Lance Archer, CM Punk picked an opponent of his choosing to go against FTR, and Jade Cargill put her TBS Championship on the line. Chris Jericho held a team meeting for the Inner Circle, Andrade confronted Sting and Darby Allin, and Isiah Kassidy faced a mystery opponent in a Face of the Revolution qualifier match. First up, MJF celebrated his win over CM Punk last week in style.

Quick Results

Wardlow defeated Shawn Spears via pinfall. **½

Keith Lee defeated Isiah Kassidy via pinfall. ***½

CM Punk and Jon Moxley defeated FTR via pinfall. ****

Jade Cargill defeated A.Q.A via pinfall. ***

Serena Deeb defeated Katie Arquette via submission. *

“Hangman” Adam Page defeated Lance Archer via failing to get up after a ten count. ****½

The Matches

The Blade vs Wardlow W/ Shawn Spears

It was refreshing to see Wardlow have somewhat of a challenge and not squash his opponent straight away. Although The Blade did work on Wardlow’s knee to try and keep the big man down, it wasn’t enough. Wardlow slammed The Blade’s back into the ring post and then into a chair at ringside. Back in the ring, he landed a delayed vertical suplex, Davey Boy Smith-style, then ended it by hitting three powerbombs for the win. Spears ran in at the end and hit The Blade with a chair.

Face of the Revolution Ladder match qualifier: Isiah Kassidy W/ Mark Quen & Matt Hardy vs Keith Lee

If you ever read any of my NXT reviews from the good old days of the black and gold brand, you’ll know how much Keith Lee meant to me. Seeing him on AEW made me so happy. You could see how much Lee was enjoying the crowd reaction. It felt like he was accepted again, especially after how much he was under-utilised on the RAW roster. I got goosebumps as the fans chanted “oh, bask in his glory.” It felt like we were back in NXT. He absolutely destroyed Kassidy. Lee launched him across the ring, then hit a crossbody, slingshot crossbody over the ropes, and a big shoulder block. I kept laughing at Schiavone’s reaction every time. I don’t think he could believe what he was seeing. To be fair to Kassidy, he put in some decent offence, especially his corkscrew over the ropes. Quen attacked Lee from behind on the apron, but Lee beat him to the ground. Kassidy flew over the ropes to the outside, but Lee caught him and powerbombed him on top of Quen. In the ring, Lee hit Big Bang Catastrophe for the win.

FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) W/ Tully Blanchard vs CM Punk & Jon Moxley

CM Punk picking Jon Moxley was a solid choice. Moxley has looked incredible ever since his return, and it was no different tonight. Punk held his own against Harwood, who was getting frustrated with him. Mox entered the fray and controlled Harwood with a side headlock and body slam. FTR ended up working on Punk’s injured knee from last week, but Mox was there to keep the odds even. He hit a German suplex on Harwood, then nailed both members of FTR with a double DDT. Punk landed on FTR over the top rope but they caught him, however, Moxley jumped over the ropes and fell on top of all of them. Mox and Wheeler fought into the crowd as Punk laid a flurry of punches into Harwood at ringside. FTR dropped Mox through the timekeeper’s table. The match was a banger. As good as FTR were, Punk and Mox worked well together. Punk hit a leg lariat on Harwood and followed up with a rising knee strike. Punk picked up Dax on his shoulders and performed a Doomsday Device with Moxley. Wheeler ended up smashing Punk with the ring bell and Harwood hit a brainbuster, but Punk kicked out. They connected with the Big Rig, but Mox broke up the pin attempt. Tully ended up getting in the ring, so Punk dropped him with GTS. The match ended as Mox hit Paradigm Shift on Harwood as Punk hit GTS on Wheeler for the win.

TBS Championship Match: Jade Cargill (C) W/ Mark Sterling vs A.Q.A

Jade Cargill looked great in this match. She looked more comfortable, but credit to A.Q.A (fka Zayda Ramier in NXT) as she looked great. Cargill deadlifted A.Q.A with one arm and hit a suplex. A.Q.A landed a pop-up dropkick, but Cargill was too powerful. She launched her into the barrier at ringside, then a suplex. A.Q.A landed a jawbreaker in the ring, but Cargill followed up with a fallaway slam. Cargill went for the pin but stopped to do some press-ups. A.Q.A fought back and hit a crossbody, spinning DDT, and shooting star press. Cargill ended up dropping A.Q.A with a spinning slam and Jaded for the victory.

5-minute Challenge Match: Serena Deeb vs Katie Arquette

We all know Deeb is masterful in the ring, and she proved it once again by beating Katie Arquette in a minute with her submission.

AEW World Championship Texas Death Match: “Hangman” Adam Page (C) vs Lance Archer

The fight had already broken out backstage before the bell. They fought into the arena as Page hit Archer with the belt, then launched him through a pane of glass that covered the heel entrance. Archer was already busted open. In the ring, Page hit the Buckshot Lariat as Archer fell outside. As Page went for a Tope Suicida, Archer smashed him with a trash can lid. Dan Lambert walked out and started unscrewing the top rope from the ring posts. They fought into the crowd as Archer went for a chokeslam, but Page got out and hit a moonsault off a small wall. Back in the ring, Archer hit the Helicoaster, then gouged at Page’s forehead with the hook on the back of the turnbuckle to bust open Page. I wonder if Page can get through a title match without losing a gallon of blood each time. Archer set up a couple of tables at ringside and threw a couple of kendo sticks and a trash can in the ring. He went for Blackout onto the tables, but Page escaped. Jake Roberts was now at ringside. He went to DDT Page, but Archer stopped him, allowing Page to DDT Archer in the process.

Page used the kendo sticks to attack Archer in the ring. Archer chokeslammed Page onto the trash can, then used a fork to repeatedly stab Page in the forehead. He then hit a cannonball senton to Page on the outside. There was blood everywhere. I’m sure the guys at GCW would’ve been proud. Archer grabbed a chair covered in barbed wire, then hit Blackout on the steel steps which looked incredibly painful. In the ring, Archer went for a powerbomb, but Page hit him with barbed wire. As the referee was picking up the barbed wire, Page vaulted over him and connected with another Buckshot Lariat to knock Archer through the two tables, unable to get up giving Page the win. After the match, Adam Cole walked out, picked up the belt, and placed it on Hangman’s shoulders. What a great match. It was by far the most brutal match I’ve seen in AEW. Respect to Archer. I didn’t hold much hope for this one, but it ended up being the best match of the show.

The Promos

Dynamite started off with Wardlow bringing cardboard cut-outs of MJF to the ring. FTR and Shawn Spears came out as Justin Roberts was given various cards and paperwork with specific ways to call out MJF. Honestly, this was brilliant. It was obvious MJF was going to make the most of his victory over CM Punk, but this was on another level. He was carried out on a platform while sitting on a chair, and when he finally stood up and got in the ring, he passionately kissed a girl on the apron before grabbing the microphone. His first mistake was thanking Shawn Spears for helping him beat Punk as opposed to Wardlow. Spears showed MJF his new shirt design, too, which only further angered the crowd. MJF said he made it crystal clear he was the best in the world and said he should now be the AEW World Champion. CM Punk walked out and said his victory in Chicago was more suspect than MJF’s spray tan. He then said it was clear he needed some friends as backup, and out came Darby Allin and Sting. Punk asked for a rematch and told Wardlow to grow some balls and leave The Pinnacle. MJF said Wardlow wouldn’t do that, as even though he pays him for protection, Wardlow was his friend. Dax Harwood grabbed the mic and said he was more comfortable in his ring gear. Punk called for a 3-on-3 match. MJF said if Punk found a partner who wasn’t Allin or Sting and managed to beat FTR, he could get his rematch anywhere at any time. It looks as though this feud is far from over. I’m guessing we get the rematch at Revolution, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

Tony Schiavone was backstage with Darby Allin and Sting, as well as Andrade. Andrade said he finally got to meet Allin’s boss. Sting said if he wanted to deal with Allin, he could talk to him “mano a mano.” Allin said he had more important things on his mind, like becoming the TNT Champion. Andrade said they had that in common, as he wanted the belt too.

A vignette aired in a graveyard featuring Penta El Zero Miedo. The voice of Alex Abrahantes was heard. He said Malakai Black may have spat in Penta’s face, but he also spat into his soul. We then saw a mask that looked very much like the Pentagon Dark mask. It was awesome seeing the mask. I’d guess that we might not be seeing his brother for some time, and Penta Dark could be having a run in single’s competition for now. Either that or Penta is going to turn and join the House of Black.

It was time for the Inner Circle team meeting. The stable walked out minus Santana and Ortiz. Jericho said he’d not seen them all day as they came out to their own music. Santana cut an amazing promo about how Jericho only cares for himself, and everything they’ve fought for as part of the Inner Circle was for the betterment of Jericho’s own interests. Santana said the days of playing second fiddle are over, and if it wasn’t for Ortiz, he would have dropped him a long time ago. Jericho said Santana reminded him of Eddie Guerrero with how he got hot-headed and blamed everyone else. Ooh, Jericho. Not cool, man. Jericho asked what Eddie Kingston had ever done for them, and when they lost to The Young Bucks for the tag titles it had nothing to do with him. He then said maybe he invited the wrong members of LAX into the Inner Circle and told Hager to call Homicide and Hernandez. Santana got angry and squared up to Jericho. Sammy stepped up and told Santana to stop, to which Jericho shouted “shut up” to Sammy. The Spanish God said they needed to find a way past this, calling the Inner Circle his family. He said he’d left the Inner Circle once, and he’d do it again. Guevara walked off after leaving his leather Inner Circle vest in the ring. Ortiz said LAX always settled things with their fists before, so next week they’d take on Jericho and Hager. Jericho agreed to the match and said they better be there because attendance is mandatory. This was a great segment. It feels as though the Inner Circle has run its course, and I am all for Santana and Ortiz to get a solid run in the tag team division. Guevara is flying on his own, so it makes sense. I’m not sure what that means for Hager, but Jericho looks as though he’s keen to become more of a heel once again.

Tony Schiavone was backstage with Roppongi Vice aka Trent and Rocky Romero. The Young Bucks interrupted and a fight broke out as Adam Cole came out of nowhere and attacked them. Suddenly, “Switchblade” Jay White walked out and threw Trent into the truck that was behind them. White is one of my favourite wrestlers in the business today, and to see him in AEW was awesome. I doubt it will be a long stay, so I’ll enjoy whatever Tony Kahn is planning. It’s worth noting that TK said he only got White in at the last moment as he’d mistook what the forbidden door meant. It goes to show how much TK wants to please the fans, giving us two awesome debuts on one show.

A video aired where Britt Baker talked about bringing in Mercedes Martinez. Thunder Rosa said next week she would face Martinez in a no DQ match. Martinez said the OG badass performed better with no rules.

Guevara walked out from the back with some cards. They read that whoever won the Face of the Revolution ladder match, he would be watching, whether it be Allin, Andrade, or Keith Lee.

The Young Bucks were backstage talking about how they were getting their titles back. Matt asked Cole if he was aware that Jay White and Kenny Omega had a massive feud in NJPW. Cole responded by saying once you’re Bullet Club, you’re Bullet Club for life. Matt asked Cutler, who was filming, if he knew about White’s debut, who responded by saying he thinks he saw something on Reddit.

A video aired highlighting the feud between Jurassic Express and The Gunn Club, as they will be wrestling for the tag titles on Rampage.

Match of the Night: “Hangman” Adam Page vs Lance Archer

Best in Show: Keith Lee

Overall Rating: ****½

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

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