Last night's episode of AEW Dynamite was jam packed with violence, high flying action, and tons of new storylines. Here are my thoughts and ratings of the show heading into next Wednesday at Grand Slam. Everything is rated on a 0-5 Beer scale, because #CrackUm. Let’s dive in.
Adam Cole vs Frankie Kazarian
The battle of the Elite Hunter Frankie Kazarian vs Adam Cole Bay Bay was a back and forth technical wrestling clinic. The two veterans traded various grapples and counters from the outset. Eventually, Cole achieved the upper hand but Kaz stayed in the match by way of a few slick counters. Keeping Cole on his toes for the entirety of the match, Kazarian offered a last ditch effort to stay in it, only to be undone by a Panama Sunrise and a Last Shot. Adam Cole got the win.
Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed the match, especially as an opener to this edition of Dynamite. The story behind the match stays on brand for both competitors. Kazarian still has a bone to pick with the Elite and what better way to get back at them by wrestling the groups long lost brother, Adam Cole. The match length and display of technical prowess allowed Cole to be highlighted in his first match in AEW, while simultaneously keeping Frankie Kazarian as a competitive nuisance to The Elite going forward.
Adam Cole hosted a quick “Story Time” after his match. Cole alluded to The Elite being the most dominant faction in wrestling and told the locker room not to have hope, because hope is dangerous. He then proceeded to call out Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle boy and proposed a Trios match next week vs Super Clique.
The Lucha Bros were featured in a vignette calling out the Butcher and The Blade for a match at Grand Slam next Wednesday on Dynamite. This match will mark the first action The Lucha Bros have had as new AEW World Tag Team Champions.
Fuego del Sol challenged Miro to a match this upcoming Friday at Rampage and Fuego Del Sol will be putting his brand new car on the line for the winner of this match to keep.
MJF berated the New Jersey audience with a barrage of insults. The raucous crowd promptly told MJF to “shut the fuck up”. MJF proceeds to direct the next part of his promo to the late, great Brian Pillman. This antagonization tactic worked and Pillman Jr’s music hit. Pillman arrived in the ring with a steel chair and after a brief scuffle with Wardlow and MJF, the latter escape unscathed. A match was announced for Grand Slam next Wednesday between Pillman Jr. and MJF.
Jurassic Express and Christian Cage accepted the challenge made by Adam Cole.
Dante Martin and Matt Sydal vs FTR w/ Tully Blanchard
In a matchup of a makeshift tag team and one of the top tag teams in the world, there was only one outcome for this match. However, Sydal and Martin being the high flyers they are by nature brought the action to FTR right away. They were soon grounded however by the down and dirty classic tag team tactics that FTR live by. Martin and Sydal then threw their bodies on the line, showing they still have some fight left in them, getting a rousing reaction from an appreciative Jersey crowd. After a cat and mouse and numerous counters by Dante Martin, FTR caught Martin and delivered their double team finisher. Cash Wheeler pinned Dante Martin for the FTR win.
Thoughts: FTR being fresh off a return to AEW, this match allowed for a dominant win while also not burying their opponents. The clash of styles in this match was also incredibly fun to watch. This matchup also allowed for a continued showcasing of Dante Martin and what this young man can do in the ring. The crowd loves Martin and his high flying antics so it's best to continue the steady push he is getting.
Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki challenged Mox and Eddie to a match at Grand Slam stating that Suzuki felt disrespected when his entrance music was cut off before it had finished, essentially blaming it on Moxley.
Malakai Black delivered a promo in the ring for his upcoming match against Cody next Wednesday at Grand Slam. The camera panned to actress Rosario Dawson in the crowd, who was then called out and approached by Black. Donned in Nightmare Family apparel, Dawson did not back down from the dark and ominous Malakai Black. Cody’s music hit and grabbed Black’s attention. While Black was distracted, Rosario Dawson proceeded to jump on his back and aid Cody in an attack on the leader of The House of Black. The brawl between Cody and Black spilled into the crowd and up the stairs of the arena as the show entered a commercial break.
Dark Order was shown backstage arguing and infighting once again. Anna Jay said that enough is enough and that she wants none of her fellow brethren to accompany her to the ring on Friday at Rampage until they learn to settle their differences and become a family again.
American Top Team was shown in ring with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Dan Lambert then went on to insult AEW wrestlers and fans alike, mocking their intelligence and love for professional wrestling.These degradations prompted Jericho to come out, accompanied by his Inner Circle companion, Jake Hager. Dan Lambert cut off the music in a fit of rage only to be drowned out by the live crowd's rendition of Judas.
Jericho called Lambert a fat face dipshit and the audience sang along to this simple, yet effective insult. Jericho went on to let American Top Team and The Men of The Year know that The Inner Circle will not be intimidated and even brought up Jake Hager’s undefeated MMA record. The two groups bickered and it was finally settled, The Inner Circle will face The Men of The Year next week in New York.
The Gunn Club was featured in a quick vignette to talk about not being respected and not getting their chance. They then warned that they are coming for what is theirs and there will be hell to pay.
Jade Cargill vs Legit Leyla Hirsch
Legit Leyla Hirsch confronted the towering Cargill to begin this obvious mismatch. Leyla Hirsch then delivered a takedown and aggressive onslaught catching Jade Cargill by surprise. Not soon after, Cargill overpowered Leyla using her size advantage. It didn't take long for Cargill to plant Hirsch on the mat and get the victory.
Thoughts: A quick and decisive match was predictable in a matchup like this. While still allowing Leyla Hirsch to display her strength against a larger opponent, giving Cargill a dominant win just keeps solidifying Jade as a domineering force in the women’s division.
Andrade El Idolo called out PAC and the entire roster once again. El Idolo stated he is not afraid of anyone in AEW and that he will take on all competitors.
Taz and Hook confront CM Punk at the announcers table. After a few words, Punk stared down hook. Hobbs attacked Punk from behind in a preplanned sneak attack. Punk attempted to fight back but was swiftly put down by Both Hobbs and Hook. Hobbs followed this up by chokeslamming CM Punk straight through the announcers desk.
Darby Allin vs Chairman Shawn Spears
This match was high intensity from the start. With a mutual hatred for each other, you could feel the violence between Spears and Allin through the television. After trading attacks to each other on the steel stairs, Spears eventually found the upper hand. The Chairman decided to take things a step further and wash Darby Allin’s face paint off. After being brutalized the entire match, Allin got the better of Spears, hitting the man with a coffin drop and securing the win. Following the victory, however, fellow Pinnacle members, FTR, attacked Sting and Allin. Tully Blanchard came into the ring and hit Sting with a chair. FTR continued their assault on the already injured team. Tully took his turn in wiping the face paint off of Sting as well.
Thoughts: I felt this match was quick but got the point across. Allowing Darby to get the win furthers his ascent as the star he is in AEW, which is essential. But, the foreshadowing and mirror imagery of the face paint being washed off both Darby Allin and Sting is what really made this match worthwhile for me.
Danielson came out and wanted to face Omega. The newest addition to AEW wants to prove himself against the best wrestler in the world. After constant interruptions by Don Callis, Kenny Omega finally agreed to a match with Bryan Danielson, albeit not for the AEW World Championship. This match was soon after confirmed for next Wednesday at Grand Slam.
The TNT Champion Moro accepted the challenge laid down by Fuego earlier in the night and the match will happen on Friday at Rampage.
Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley vs 2.0
2.0, as always, was aggressive right away but really held no weight against Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, as the match was over in a quick six minutes, ending in a win for Kingston and Moxley. The real bread and butter of the main event happened after the match when Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer came out to a full entrance. After feeling disrespected last week, the NJPW stalwart blamed this on Jon Moxley. The four men brawled in the crowd as Dynamite went off the air.
Thoughts: With such a quick main event, the actual intention of this ending was to further the ongoing feuds that Jon Moxley has been having with Japanese wrestlers. Keeping this relationship with other wrestling promotions is very important in this new era of professional wrestling. Moxley, AEW, and the litany of Japanese combatants continue to do a masterful job.
This episode overall was very entertaining. It was very concise in match flow and had a healthy balance of matches and promos alike. Plenty of new storylines were introduced heading into Grand Slam next week, which is set to be a very historic night for AEW.