COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross, Excalibur, & Tony Schaivone
AEW celebrates the 1 year anniversary of Dynamite with all four championships being defended.
- AEW WORLD CHAMPION: Jon Moxley
- AEW WOMEN’S CHAMPION: Hikaru Shida
- AEW TNT CHAMPION: “The American Nightmare” Cody
- AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)
- FTR [c] vs. Best Friends for the AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)
- Sean Maluta & Lee Johnson vs. Miro & Kip Sabian (SQUASH)
- Cody [c] vs. Orange Cassidy for the AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP (****)
- Hikaru Shida [c] vs. Big Swole for the AEW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (*3/4)
- NO-DISQUALIFICATION: Jon Moxley [c] vs. Lance Archer for the AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
-Pyro and ballyhoo, participants for the opening contest are already in the ring.
FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) [c] [w/ Tully Blanchard] vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent) for the AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Best Friends control early, connecting with a double shoulderblock but the champs are champs for a reason and go on the offensive after Harwood throws Trent into the ropes like a sack of garbage. FTR hit a double slingshot in the middle rope, Trent sent to the floor where he trades shots with Harwood. Trent rolls in and tries to make the tag, Harwood pulls him back in the FTR corner. Trent escapes a submission and catches a charging Wheeler with a lariat. Harwood quickly tags in and slides himself between Trent and Taylor to prevent the tag, which I saw from them last week and still f*cking love. Trent gets whipped into the corner, the momentum sending him onto the top buckle, Harwood decides to get nuts and hits a top rope belly-to-back suplex that rattles both participants. Wheeler tags in to try and make the cover but Trent kicks out, then counters a Vader Bomb with a pair of knees. Harwood tags but can’t stop Trent and in comes a fresh and angry Chuck Taylor. Taylor clotheslines both FTR members to the floor and flattens them with a tope con hilo, Taylor connects with a Falcon Arrow but Harwood kicks out in the nick of time. Blanchard interferes, sweeping Taylor’s legs and allowing Harwood to counter a suplex with a lateral press for the 1…2…Taylor kicks out. FTR get sent into one another, Taylor catches Wheeler with a sunset flip for the 1…2…not yet. Trent tags back in, Soul Food/half & half combo followed by a Busaiku Knee for the 1…2…NO. FTR battle back, hitting an assisted powerbomb and a Gory Special but Harwood can’t get the pinfall. Best Friends hit the Strong Zero but also can’t secure the victory. Action moves into the crowd and Trent is sent into Kip Sabian’s arcade machine. Sabian yells at Penelope Ford to “go get him” and she runs off. Back in the ring Taylor tags in and prevents a belt shot from Wheeler. Harwood goes for an O’Connor, the ref ducks out of the way to prevent getting hit and Wheeler finally hits Taylor with the belt, Harwood rolling him up for the 1…2…3.
FTR [c] defeated Best Friends via pinfall to retain the AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (16:33)
- Helluva match and a great open to the show. FTR may be pretty good after all, who knew? Besides everyone who watched NXT and main roster WWE shows. Top Guys continue to cheat their way to an undefeated record, heeling as heels do, but Best Friends put up a great fight and looked great even though they lost. (***1/4)
FTR bail, Best Friends lick their wounds…and receive more courtesy of an enraged Miro who gets revenge on Trent and Chuck for destroying his arcade cabinet. Sabian joins in on the beatdown too and they’re in action next.
Sean Maluta & Lee Johnson vs. Miro & Kip Sabian [w/ Penelope Ford]
This one is pretty much all Miro as he throws around Maluta and attacks Johnson, still upset about earlier. Sabian tags in to get his one move in, a frog splash, but quickly tags Miro in so he can get the win with a Camel Clutch.
Miro & Kip Sabian defeated Sean Maluta & Lee Johnson via pinfall (1:53)
- Miro went full-on GAMER RAGE there. Hard to reconcile a scary monster with “video game nerd” but I guess we’re going there. (SQUASH)
Miro gets on the mic after and tells “Good Friends” that it’s GAME OVAH for breaking his shit.
-We quickly cut backstage where Lance Archer is beating up Jon Moxley ahead of their title match tonight, Jake Roberts holding officials at bay until they’ve made their point.
-Excalibur highlights the upcoming #1 Contender’s tournament that starts next week, the winner getting to challenge for the World Title at Full Gear next month. They showed up the 1st round matches but I didn’t pay much attention to who was where so I’m not going to regurgitate that for you.
MJF makes his way to the ring for the “big announcement”. MJF says he’s not here to get on top, he’s here to stay on top, and calls for Chris Jericho to join him for the announcement. Jericho obliges, flanked by his Inner Circle (Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana, & Ortiz). All of them are wearing jackets except Guevara who sullenly carries his. Crowd sings along to “Judas” of course, MJF tells them they were all off-key “for future reference”. MJF brags about the jackets he gave them and asks Guevara to put his on. Guevara does not want to but Jericho makes him and it’s revealed that’s three sizes too big for him. HA. MJF then compliments Jericho on his body and hair, asking to touch the latter. Jericho allows it then tells him to cut the sh*t and get to his earth-shattering announcement. MJF says Jericho is the Demo God while he’s the Ratings Ruler (to crickets) and that they are both predators; however the prey has adapted and they need to adapt as well. After a brief struggle with his pride, MJF finally spits it out: he wants to join the Inner Circle. Santana grabs the mic and says they don’t want him and asks Jericho to go. Jericho, however, says that he will meet MJF next week…FOR A STEAK DINNER. MJF “angrily” accepts the steak dinner and they shake hands. IT’S A DATE.
- Good segment here. MJF having to swallow his pride and going full Fonzie while trying to ask to be part of the Inner Circle was great, as was his interactions with Jericho and giving Guevara a much too large jacket. I liked this a lot. The steak dinner segment next week is going to be awesome. I hope they hold hands.
-VIDEO: Tony Schiavone hangs out with Dr. Britt Baker at a spa. Baker calls “Reba” (Rebel) in to show the 5th rule of being a role model: be the baddest bitch on the planet. They notice Schiavone is naked under his towel and scream, then we cut to Rebel and Baker WAXING Schiavone’s chest to their amusement/his pain. We then cut to Schiavone and Baker getting pedicures as she hypes her comeback. She’s in action next week.
- I did not do a great job recapping this, so you should seek out the video. It’s great. Schiavone and Baker are comedy gold together. I loved it.
–Cody makes his usual dramatic entrance with Brandi Rhodes and Arn Anderson, his neck taped up due to last week’s Dog Collar match and his hair back to blonde. Darby Allin is shown in the rafters keeping an eye on the match. He will challenge for the title at Full Gear.
“The American Nightmare” Cody [c] [w/ Brandi Rhodes & Arn Anderson] vs. “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy for the AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP
Cody tries to get a rise out of Cassidy but he’s too low-key to care, dodging lockup attempts and putting his hands in his pockets. Cody shoves him, knocking his glasses off, which enrages Cassidy so much he LOCKS UP FOR REAL. Cassidy backs Cody into the corner and lightly taps him in the chest as he breaks clean. Cody tries to outwrestle Cassidy, but Cassidy keeps slipping out and reversing, kicking the champ away and kipping up with his hands back in his pockets. Cody eventually muscles Cassidy, hitting a delayed vertical suplex and hitting a superplex that hurts both men. Cody hip tosses Cassidy to the floor. Cody comes off the top with a double ax, Cassidy casually side steps it and hits his sloth-like kicks. Cassidy gets sent to the floor and flattened with a tope suicida. John Silver of The Dark Order tries to steal the TNT Championship but Cassidy stops him and the referee ejects all of The Dark Order (sans Mr. Brodie Lee who is not in attendance) from their front-row seats.
Cassidy rolls Cody in and hits a crossbody, Cody rolls through and picks him up but his Cross Rhodes gets countered. Cassidy hits the Stundog Millionaire, Cody responds with a Cody Cutter. Cody gets a two-count off a lariat then does some push-ups to psyche himself up, which the crowd and Anderson are not amused by. Cody connects with an avalanche reverse suplex for a two-count, Cody gets sent into the ringpost, Cassidy hits both a Diving DDT and Michinoku Driver but can’t put the champ away. Cody locks in the Figure Four in the center of the ring, Cassidy eventually rolls over to the ropes to get the break. Action moves to apron, BEACH BREAK ON THE APRON, Cassidy counters another Cross Rhodes attempt with a DDT and hits a second Beach Break for the 1…2…CODY KICKS OUT. Cassidy surprises Cody with the Mouse Trap for the 1…2…TIME LIMIT HAS EXPIRED.
Cody [c] and Orange Cassidy fought to a time-limit draw; Cody retains the AEW TNT CHAMPIONSHIP (20:00)
- Match went 20 minutes but felt like 5. An excellent contest here, Cassidy mixing his comedy stuff with terrific wrestling to a great result. Cody showed some heel tendencies and arrogance here which annoyed his coach Arn Anderson but added a little dimension to him and I appreciated that. Cassidy is a one in a million kind of wrestler; absolutely NO ONE could do what he does with the same positive effect. Hell yeah. (****)
–Alex Marvez tries to interview Lance Archer and Jake Roberts but Jon Moxley quickly attacks Archer and they are separated by refs and officials who implore them to save it for later.
-Schiavone interviews Matt Hardy who is in the crowd with his wife Reby and their kids. Hardy says he has been cleared to wrestle, the interview is interrupted by a hooded figure burning pictures of Hardy. He reveals himself to be old foe Sammy Guevara, who says that he was the one who attacked him at All Out and will not rest until he sends Matt Hardy home for good. Back to Hardy at ringside who says his first piece of business is Sammy Guevara. Apparently they’ve been feuding for awhile but I missed all that so NEW TO ME and I LIKE IT.
-After commercial we go back to Schiavone, who’s in the ring with FTR, Tully Blanchard, a pair of refs, and a raffle tumbler. A host of tag teams line the stage. Schiavone says they are going to draw the names of four tag teams, who will compete in a four-way match next week to decide who faces FTR at Full Gear. The teams selected are: Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen), The Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds), The Butcher & The Blade, and The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson). Each team comes to the ring when they’re called, Bucks say they aren’t here to superkick Schiavone (again) or FTR, they’re here to superkick others and SUPERKICK they do. A big ol’ brawl breaks out as FTR watch from the stage, with the Bucks and Private Party the only two standing. Bucks goad Private Party into a handshake then Superkick them as well.
- Why bother doing rankings or whatever if they’re gonna decide things by a raffle? Weird. I like AEW reigniting the Bucks/Private Party rivalry though, being that Private Party upset the Bucks on the first episode of Dynamite and took them out of the tournament to crown the first-ever Tag Team Champs. Good use of history and the story I care about going into next week’s show.
Hikaru Shida [c] vs. Big Swole for the AEW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Lots of jockeying at the start as both match each other move for move. Shida puts a string of offense together, hanging Swole over the apron to hit a running knee and a flying kick off a chair while Swole is hung across the guardrail. Shida awkwardly muscles Swole back to ringside with a suplex and seems okay to accept a countout victory but Swole beats it and gets a suplex for her troubles. Swole catches Shida with a headbutt to the sternum, they try a sunset bomb spot but Swole slips so she shoves her to the ramp and hits a cutter on the ramp then once again in the ring for a two-count. Shida connects with a straitjacket German suplex. Swole hits Dirty Dancing for the 1…2…Shida kicks out, hits a running knee to the face then the Tamashii to get the win.
Hikaru Shida [c] defeated Big Swole via pinfall to retain the AEW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (8:54)
- I wanted to like this so bad but all of it just felt…off. Shida especially seemed like she was just going through the motions and the miscommunications made it worse. I like these two but this wasn’t it, though they did try to save it with a couple of cool spots. (*3/4)
-It’s announced that Cody will defend the TNT Championship against Orange Cassidy in a rematch two weeks from tonight.
–Eddie Kingston & The Lucha Bros join Ross and company on commentary.
-VIDEO: Shawn Spears says Scorpio Sky stole a moment from him and now Sky owes himself and Tully Blanchard that moment. Tully is still slumming it with Spears? Weird.
Jon Moxley [c] vs. “The Murderhawk Monster” Lance Archer [w/ Jake “The Snake” Roberts] for the AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Archer throws a rando through plate glass as part of his introduction, which rules. Moxley comes through the crowd and doesn’t even wait for introductions, and we’re off to the races on this one to the surprise of nobody. They brawl to the floor, Archer sends Mox into the guardrail, Mox hits a tope suicida. Archer takes control, hitting the POOOOOOUNCE…PERIOD followed by a cannonball off the apron. Archer sets up two tables at ringside and tries to put Mox through them with a Blackout from the ring but Mox escapes his grasp only to eat a big boot. Mox fights back with clotheslines and throws a host of chairs in the ring, throwing one in Archer’s face. He sets them up and picks Archer up, Archer escapes and puts Mox through the chairs with a chokeslam for a two-count. Moxley grabs a kneebar, Roberts helps Archer crawl to the floor to escape the hold. Archer grabs a trash can from under the ring and hits Mox with it when he tries another tope suicida. The action moves back to the apron, Archer tries a Paradigm Shift but eats a low blow and Mox instead uses the Paradigm Shift to put Archer and himself through the tables. Back in the ring Mox hits another Paradigm Shift, really planting the motherf*cker, for the 1…2…Archer kicks out! Mox turns it into a Bulldog Choke, Archer escapes and hit the DDT (wonder who taught him that) and the Blackout for the 1…2…Mox turns the pin into a crucifix for the 1…2…3!
Jon Moxley [c] defeated Lance Archer via pinfall to retain the AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (12:48)
- A big ol’ slobberknocker of a main event that I enjoyed for what it was. Mox showed why he’s World Champ, using his wits to overcome his much larger opponent, and Archer looked every much the Murderhawk Monster by dominating most of the match. Loved the table spot too; they feel rare nowadays so when it happens I get excited. (***)
Archer attacks Moxley, Kingston sends in The Lucha Bros to break it up. Kingston congratulates Moxley, having Fenix hand him the title, and brings up their history and friendship. Kingston then hits Mox with a backfist and knocks him out with a rear naked choke, Kingston vowing to get Mox as the show goes off the air. Soooo I shouldn’t expect Eddie Kingston on NWA Powerrr if/when it returns, huh?
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not a ton of pomp and circumstance for the big one year anniversary of Dynamite but most of the matches were pretty damn good and I loved the MJF/Jericho and Schiavone/Baker segments a lot. I’m also real into Eddie Kingston getting that big main event run in a national company; I never thought I would be but he’s KILLING it.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Cody vs. Orange Cassidy
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: That whole Schiavone/Baker/Rebel video. All of it. Can’t pick my favorite part.