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‘AEW DYNAMITE’ 08.18.2021 Recap + Review – Final Labor of Jericho, First Sting Match on TNT in 20 Years

AEW Dynamite

VENUE: Fertitta Center (Houston, TX)
COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross, Excalibur, & Tony Schiavone

AEW Dynamite this week features the conclusion of The Labors of Jericho as Chris Jericho takes on MJF in a match where he cannot use the Judas Effect or come out to his usual “Judas” theme. Oh boy I hope the crowd knows the words and sings it instead, that sounds like a thing that could happen! Also, and for longtime fans more importantly, Sting wrestles his first match on TNT in over twenty years as he teams with Darby Allin to take on 2.0

CHAMPIONS

  • AEW WORLD CHAMPION: Kenny Omega
  • AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPION: Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
  • AEW TNT CHAMPION: Miro
  • AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)

LINEUP

  • TEXAS TORNADO: Sting & Darby Allin vs. 2.0 (**1/2)
  • Sammy Guevara vs. Shawn Spears (***1/4)
  • The Young Bucks [c] vs. Jurassic Express for the AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)
  • Thunder Rosa vs. Penelope Ford (**)
  • THE FIFTH LABOR OF JERICHO: Chris Jericho vs. MJF (***)

*****

Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston make their way out through the crowd looking to open the show but are instead attacked by 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) and Daniel Garcia. Lee grabs a mic and tells Sting & Darby Allin to come get some RIGHT NOW.

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: The…the f*ck were Mox & Kingston planning on doing exactly? 

TEXAS TORNADO
Sting & Darby Allin vs. 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) [w/ Daniel Garcia]

Allin attacks Garcia with a skateboard and Sting drops 2.0 with a double clothesline. 2.0 bail to the floor and all four men brawl into the crowd, the Houston crowd chanting “YOU STILL GOT IT, and into the upper concourse. Garcia rejoins the frey and throws Allin into 2.0 who launch Allin skull-first into a wall. The fight spills back into the crowd, Allin WALKS A CONCRETE RAIL and lays out the heel trio with a splash. Eddie Kingston recovers from the ambush and evens things out by attacking Garcia. Things return to the ring, Sting & Allin introducing a table but Parker clips Sting’s knee before it can be set up. Allin gets tossed to the ramp, 2.0 toss him into the skateboard (wheels up!) with a snap suplex. Sting peppers Lee with corner rights, Parker attacks from behind and 2.0 throw Sting through the table…BUT STING GETS RIGHT BACK UP AND BEATS HIS CHEST. Allin attacks 2.0, Sting lays them out with a double Scorpion Death Drop and stacks them up for A GODDAMN DOUBLE SCORPION DEATH LOCK FOR THE WIN, WHAT.

Sting & Darby Allin defeated 2.0 via submission (6:15)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: I watched Sting’s final match in WCW, only fitting I watch his first match back on TNT twenty years later. Life moves too quick. Fun as hell, crowd was hot and 2.0 were SO GREAT here, bouncing around for the Stinger and being the most punchable folks on the planet. Excited to see what 2.0 does going forward in AEW. ALSO THAT DOUBLE SCORPION DEATH LOCK! YOOOOOO! Sting out here doing something new to commemorate his in-ring return to TNT. (**1/2)

-EARLIER TONIGHT: Sammy Guevara proposes to his girlfriend Pam.

Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard sarcastically congratulate Guevara on his engagement, Spears offers to make Pam a member of the Pinnacle for one night only…and let her be on top. Ew dude.

Sammy Guevara vs. Shawn Spears [w/ Tully Blanchard]

Spears tries to blindside Guevara but Guevara easily fights him off, wiping him out with a cannonball off the ramp and giving a quick kiss to his new fiancee Pam. I love it. Guevara trades chops with Spears and sends him crashing into the guardrail, posing with the fans. Guevara charges, Spears sends him into the steps then plants him with a SPIKE PILEDRIVER on the floor with assistance from Blanchard.

Spears rolls Guevara in to get the match officially started, Guevara rolls back to the floor and Aubrey Edwards ejects Blanchard to prevent a second Spike Piledriver. Now that there’s a real match going on she cares, we’ve got the same work ethic. Blanchard LOSES HIS MIND and tries to fight Edwards as the crowd goes nuts and he angrily leaves to the back. Amazing. Spears stops on the apron to blow Pam a creepy kiss, Guevara recovers and belts him with a kick but misses a springboard cutter. Guevara counters out of a power bomb and trades chops with Spears as the show goes picture-in-picture. Spears belts Guevara with a right hand and grabs a chair from ringside…as the commercials go full-screen. Oh.

Show returns, a barricade making a bridge on the apron and a different barricade courtesy of Guevara (guess he recovered enough to do something during the break). Both men springboard to the top, Spears flips Guevara off and Guevara responds with a SUPER CUTTER for the 1…2…Spears kicks out. Spears sits on the buckles, Guevara hops up and Spears makes him regret it with an AVALANCHE C4 for the 1…2…Guevara kicks out! Spears brings Guevara to the apron and goes for another C4, Guevara escapes and connects with a superkick followed by a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE BARRICADE, BENDING THE STEEL. Guevara finishes it off with a 630 Senton for the 1…2…SPEARS KICKS OUT WHAT THE F*CK?!? Guevara pulls his kneepad down and hits a trio of knee strikes followed by a GTH to the now-bloodied Spears for the 1…2…3!

Sammy Guevara defeated Shawn Spears via pinfall (8:33 shown)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Super fun match made even better by that white-hot Houston crowd. Love that AEW lets hometown stars WIN matches, nice change of pace. Probably the best Spears match I’ve seen, loved that barricade spot as well as the near-fall after the 630. I might have audibly screamed when Spears kicked out. SO MUCH ENERGY, I LOVE IT. (***1/4)

Guevara celebrates with his fiancee at ringside and among his hometown crowd.

Tony Schiavone tries to interview new Impact World Champ Christian Cage but Don Callis quickly interrupts and sarcastically congratulates him on his win and “finally getting a shot”. Cage retorts by calling Callis a carny piece of sh*t and that he’s deep in Omega’s head, vowing to take his other championship from him as well.

-LAST WEEK: Dante Martin shows off his INSANE hops in the opening six-man tag team match. Cut to a promo from Martin, who vows to keep rising the ranks and become a household name.

-Schiavone is in the ring with American Top Team leader Dan Lambert, who has backup in his AEW return. Lambert whines about AEW jumping aboard the cancel culture train millennials love, having Lance Archer come out to attack him. Lambert introduces his backup: former UFC Champs Andre Arlovski and Junior dos Santos, courtesy of Dana White. Lambert says AEW is not the answer to their wrestling prayers and says they’re only here because their other options are playing Dungeons & Dragons or looking up creepy porn on the internet. K. Lance Archer comes out to interrupt but gets attacked by Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. K.

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: I had to look up how to spell those UFC fighter names, so to say their involvement didn’t land for me is an understatement. This was…whatever. As soon as I heard Lambert say “cancel culture” I stopped giving a sh*t. Cool see Page & Sky back but this segment sucked sh*t.

Chris Jericho is excited to get his prize after going through hell after four weeks: a one-on-one match with MJF. He may not have Judas the music or Judas the move but he has the momentum and 5000 friends who will sing him to the ring. Jericho vows to kick MJF’s bitchy little ass and will beat him tonight, ending the Five Labors of Jericho.

The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) [c] [w/ Don Callis, Brandon Cutler, & The Good Brothers] vs. Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) [w/ Marko Stunt] for the AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Nick drops Jungle Boy with a shoulder tackle and shows off with a flip (or cartwheel, I was looking at my computer). Callis joins the commentary team as Nick continues showing off, backflipping off the apron as Jungle Boy charges; Jungle Boy finally makes contact with a slingshot splash. Luchasaurus tags in, Nick escapes the corner and tags out to Matt; Luchasaurus drops both Bucks with chops and catches a crossbody from Matt, turning it into a sit-out slam for a two-count. Jungle Boy tags in and connects with a swanton over Luchasaurus for another two-count. Jungle Boy takes Nick off the apron with a rana, Matt dropkicks Luchasaurus off the apron and follows up with a diving crossbody over the post. Matt gyrates for the crowd as the show moves to picture-in-picture. Nick holds Jungle Boy in place, Cutler spraying him down, so Matt can do a back handspring…backrake. Hell yeah. I love that move way too much. Nick tags in and goads Luchasaurus into the ring so he can choke Jungle Boy on the middle rope with no threat of a count. 

Back to the full screen as Jungle Boy mounts a comeback, rolling under a clothesline attempt to make the tag to Luchasaurus. Nick hits him with a knee strike, Luchasaurus throws him halfway across the ring and drops both Bucks with a double clothesline. Nick climbs the buckles, Luchasaurus kicks him and makes the tag to Jungle Boy who hits a SUPER BRAINBUSTER OFF LUCHASAURUS’ SHOULDERS for the 1…2…Matt makes the desperate save. Cutler tries to distract Luchasaurus with a flare (LOL), Luchasaurus clears him off the apron and hits a double chokeslam on the Bucks followed by a slam/cutter combo on Matt for the 1…2…MATT KICKS OUT. Young Bucks rally with a Superkick Party and hit an Indietaker, Nick hitting a senton on the way down to Luchasaurus, for the 1…2…JUNGLE BOY KICKS OUT. Kenny Omega comes out and hits Marko Stunt with a chair, Christian Cage runs out and battles Omega to the back, Jungle Boy hits Matt with a Brainbuster on the chair (supposedly) for the 1…2…NICK BREAKS IT UP. Jurassic Express hit Thoracic Express for the 1…2…NICK MAKES THE SAVE AGAIN. Clusterf*ck abounds, Luchasaurus hits an awesome moonsault, Bucks hits the BTE Trigger on Jungle Boy for the 1…2…3.

The Young Bucks [c] defeated The Jurassic Express via pinfall to retain the AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (11:25)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: All these Elite shenanigans were a bit much but the match itself was pretty fun, Jurassic Express had me hopeful there towards the end. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the Thoracic Express before, that rocked as did Jungle Boy’s SUPER BRAINBUSTER off Luchasaurus’ shoulders. They’re a really fun team. (***1/4)

Omega and Doc Gallows return to the ring with a beaten up Christian Cage. It’s an All Elite beatdown, Callis joining in with a cheapshot for an even bigger insult to injury. Omega hits a One-Winged Angel on Cage and Callis counts the 1…2…3. Elite stand tall with all their belts (or sprays, if you’re Brandon Cutler).

-Schiavone is standing by with Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. and Rebel. Baker brings out her new muscle Jamie Hayter, who made her return at Rampage last Friday. Hayter says she and Baker go way back and was happy to help, then challenges Red Velvet for next week. Baker says gold is not Velvet’s color and never will be, and they’re going to have fun next week in Milwaukee.

Matt Hardy says he’s an equal opportunity ass kicker and will be happy to beat any of the Best Friends up. Orange Cassidy says they should find out if Matt Hardy can really kick his ass. I mean I guess, if we have to.

-Schiavone brings out guest Paul Wight, his Dark: Elevation partner, to the ring. Wight says he was happy to come to Schiavone’s aid and it felt AMAZING to get back in the ring. Wight is excited to share a huge announcement but gets interrupted by The Factory (QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, & Aaron Solow). Marshall says “Houston we have a problem” to groan boos from the Houston crowd (fair), and tells Wight he’s out here to stop him from saying something he can’t deliver on as AEW is not a place where the fans are let down (OH MAN CM PUNK IS REALLY COMING ISN’T HE OMG). Marshall says The Factory forgives Wight for chokeslamming Solow last week, Wight happily invites The Factory in the ring. Marshall says there’s a reason Wight was hired as an announcer and not as a wrestler, which agitates the big man. Marshall takes it to the JumboTron where a slideshow of Wight’s various operations/hip replacements. Wight tells Marshall he doesn’t know anything and announces that he will return to the ring at All Out…AGAINST QT MARSHALL. Marshall goes full-on Arn Anderson bug-eyed at the announcement which rocks.

Jade Cargill and Smart Mark Sterling briefly put Kiera Hogan over then Cargill challenges her for Rampage on Friday, hoping to have the same fun Miro had decimating Fuego del Sol last week. OOOO KIERA ABOUT TO BECOME THE 1-2-3 KID!

-Schiavone is backstage with The Elite. Schiavone announces an Eliminator Tag Team tournament; the winner will face The Young Bucks in a STEEL CAGE MATCH in Chicago (I assume that means All Out?).

Taz introduces himself and his son Hook then brings out FTW Champ “Absolute” Ricky Starks. Starks calls out Brian Cage to discuss things “man to man” but the camera cuts backstage where Powerhouse Hobbs has attacked him. Cage starts fighting back, Starks tells them to cut it and yells at Taz and Hook that they need to go to the back.

-Schiavone is backstage with Death Triangle (PAC & The Lucha Brothers). PAC is slated to face Andrade El Idolo at All Out. PAC is excited to humiliate Andrade on the same PPV he once obliterated Kenny Omega with only two weeks notice. Andrade and Chavo Guerrero Jr. interrupt, Andrade telling PAC he needs to agree to his condition. Chavo hands a contract to Schiavone then wishes the Lucha Bros. luck in the Eliminator. Is the condition that Schiavone has to wrestle instead? BECAUSE I DO LIKE THAT.

Thunder Rosa vs. Penelope Ford

Rosa’s adopted home is Texas and she’s decked out in Texas colors, the crowd going NUTS and chanting her name. Rosa connects with a dropkick and a running back elbow in the corner. Ford dodges a splash, Rosa sends her back into the corner and kicks her down. Ford gets sent to the apron, Rosa catches her with a right hand and sends her to the floor with a dropkick. Ford rebounds, sending Rosa into the post and following up with a cutter as the match moves to picture-in-picture. Ford lays into Rosa but can’t keep her shoulder down to the mat so she slows it down with a sorta-Dragon Sleeper. Rosa picks Ford up and breaks the hold by squashing Ford in the corner, but misses a corner elbow and eats a running Yakuza Kick. 

Show goes back to full screen, Ford misses another Yakuza Kick and Rosa connects with a corner clothesline and corner knees. Rosa connects with a butterfly suplex and covers for the 1…2…Ford kicks out. Rosa goes for the Fire Thunder Driver, Ford counters into a roll-up for the 1…2…Rosa kicks out. Ford goes for the Muta Lock, things get awkward and Ford kinda rolls her up for the 1…2…Rosa kicks out and counters into a single-leg crab. Ford escapes in the ropes, Rosa hits an airplane spin Death Valley Driver for the 1…2…Ford kicks out! Ford catches Rosa with a backbreaker and goes for another Muta Lock, Rosa gets her to let go of her grip and turns it into a submission of her own for the tap!

Thunder Rosa defeated Penelope Ford via submission (8:05)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Thunder Rosa is OVER, BROTHER. Match was alright, messy as sh*t but hard-hitting. Ford’s Muta Lock is tremendous. (**)

-Schiavone is backstage with Arn & Brock Anderson. Arn tries to talk Brock out of facing Malakai Black next week. Brock says the match is signed and he’s not asking his father to wrestle, he’s telling him. RIP BROCK ANDERSON.

Miro wanted Fuego Del Sol to better himself through suffering but he took the easy way out by accepting a contract despite losing, then sets his sights on EDDIE KINGSTON. Holy f*ck yeah gimme that match.

Jon Moxley talks about how AEW has become the place to be now that they’re selling out arenas and wonders why everyone thinks it’s so easy. He throws shade at Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, & Christian Cage and reminds everyone that he carried the World Title through uncertain times. Moxley says it’s time to send a message about what it takes to get to the top in AEW and will give Daniel Garcia a taste of the main event at Rampage on Friday. Moxley tells Garcia if this is really where he wants to be and tell him to protect his neck because this ain’t no joke.

THE 5TH LABOR OF JERICHO (NO JUDAS EFFECT OR RING ENTRANCE)
Chris Jericho vs. MJF

Jericho doesn’t have the Judas theme song but the Houston crowd happily sings him to the ring, although some of them f*ck the song up. I laughed. This is the final labor of Jericho and surprisingly happening on TV instead of at All Out. I figured that was the play but maybe they got bigger plans for MJF for the PPV.

MJF shoves Jericho, Jericho goes for the Liontamer but MJF quickly scurries to the ropes and bails to the floor to regroup. MJF climbs the apron, Jericho dropkicks him off and follows up with a slingshot splash. MJF grabs the tights and sends Jericho into the barricade then TAKES THE CAMERA and does a pan of the crowd while flipping them off…stopping on Jericho who decks him with a right hand. Jericho flips the camera off then grabs it and tries to hit MJF, but he rolls into the ring to avoid it. Jericho works MJF over with forearms, Aubrey Edwards forces separation which MJF takes advantage of by sending him injured arm-first into the corner. MJF continues working the left arm over during the picture in picture, stomping at it and getting the crowd riled all the way up. Jericho fights back with chops, MJF stops the momentum with an armbreaker and covers for the 1…2…not yet. MJF slows things down with an armbar, Jericho breaks it by getting to the corner.

Back to the full screen we go just in time for a double clothesline that rocks both of their worlds. Jericho drops MJF with a pair of shoulder tackles and a flying double axhandle from the top turnbuckle. MJF yanks the arm, sending Jericho into the corner with a Judo-like throw and removing the brace. MJF connects with a flying double stomp to the elbow and goes back to the armbar (a hold Jericho has professed to  knowing in the past). Jericho drops MJF and connects with a Lionsault FROM OUTTA NOWHERE for the 1…2…MJF kicks out. Jericho clotheslines MJF in the corner and lays into him with corner lariats. Jericho climbs the buckles and lays into MJF with count along rights followed by a top rope hurricanrana for the 1…2…MJF escapes and counters into the Salt of the Earth (Fujiwara Armbar) on the injured arm! Jericho rolls through and counters into the Walls of Jericho but MJF quickly counters out and escapes with a kick to the jaw. Jericho and MJF forget it’s a wrestling match and throw jabs and forearms at each other, MJF sends Jericho to the ramp and hits the HEAT SEEKER for the 1…2…JERICHO WITH THE SHOULDER UP. Jericho grabs a sleeperhold, MJF escapes with a low blow and PUTS THE LIONTAMER ON JERICHO! Jericho teases tapping but powers his way to the ropes. MJF puts on his Diamond ring, Jericho grabs Floyd the baseball bat, Aubrey Edwards disarms MJF and Jericho hits MJF with Floyd behind her back. Jericho goes for the Judas Effect but hesitates, MJF HITS A JUDAS EFFECT OF HIS OWN AND LOCKS IN THE SALT OF THE EARTH. Jericho shifts his weight, rolling MJF up for the 1…2…MJF shifts back and WRENCHES IT IN forcing Jericho to tap out! WHOA!

MJF defeated Chris Jericho via submission (15:18)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Good match with a surprising finish, I don’t think I’ve seen Jericho ever submit in a match before (he definitely has at some point but it’s been awhile). MJF getting the win after using a Judas Effect of his own leading into the Salt of the Earth was a nice touch too, and man what a big win for him. Is Jericho about to write himself out to go do Fozzy stuff? (***)

MJF celebrates his win as a dedicated Jericho soaks in his loss.

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS

This week’s AEW Dynamite was fire from start to finish, with every match delivering in one form or another plus some fire promos from Moxley and others. Just a great two hours of television made even better by an amazing Houston crowd. I have nothing bad to say, really. I probably should but I’m just going to soak it in.

  • FAVORITE MATCH: Young Bucks vs. Jurassic Express
  • FAVORITE MOMENT: Tony Schiavone yelling “DON’T YOU EVER USE SYNCHRONICITY AGAIN” at Don Callis. Good sh*t right there.

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