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AEW Dynamite was three quarters of a perfect wrestling show

Pro Wrestling

AEW Dynamite was three quarters of a perfect wrestling show

An incredible first hour and a memorable main event are only let down by a weird third quarter.

Whenever AEW isn’t on TV, all of fans are constantly asking, “Where’s AEW?” Yet, whenever AEW is on TV, all of the fans are bemoaning, “I cannot believe this show is going to end in the immediate future.”

Somewhere between Sting no-selling a table spot from 2.0 and Sammy Guevara hitting a GTH on a bloody Shawn Spears, I felt horrible knowing that Dynamite was going to end in an hour and a half — and this was before the epic encounter that was the Young Bucks vs Jurassic Express, which ended just as the clock hit 9:00 p.m.

As we’ve seen in the past — including last week on Rampage — AEW is more than capable of creating an insane opening hour of wrestling. All AEW had to do was make sure that the second hour of TV is problem-free, and we’ll be home free—

Wait, is that QT Marshall I hear?

Grab your Factory cronies and hit a Flying Apple to the outside as we dive into another week’s edition of AEW Dynamite!

Sting & Darby Allin def. 2point0

First off, according to TNT, it really is spelled “2point0.” I’m not calling them that.

Second, this match was a lot more favorable for 2point0 than I expected, and it made for a really hot opener.

AEW faked us out by announcing that the show opener would be a promo from Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston, and as the crowd got excited watching AEW’s two toughest men storm through the crowd, they were attacked from behind by Matt and Jeff and their pal Daniel Garcia. Matt Lee got on the mic and said the boys want their match now, so Sting and Darby came out and immediately brawled out of the ring with them and up into the crowd.

Since it was a no-DQ Texas Tornado tag, it quickly devolved into a 3-on-2 handicap match with Garcia getting in on the action, and with Garcia taking out Sting, it allowed 2point0 to hit their “Two for the Show” double-flapjack on Darby up in the concession area, shooting him face-first into the ceiling (or whatever you call the part above a doorway).

The trio beat Sting back down the stairs, but Darby followed after them by walking down the concrete railing and Coffin Dropping onto 2.0. Garcia looked like he’d get involved again, but Eddie Kingston finally recovered and dragged Garcia away.

The match got a little more even, but 2point0 surprisingly gained the advantage by taking out Darby and double-powerbombing Sting through a table…only for Sting to get right back up and beat his chest at them.

Stunned, the two ate a front-dropkick from Darby into a double Scorpion Death Drop, followed by a clearly Natalya-inspired double Scorpion Deathlock for the double tap-out.

This was a really fun 10-minute match, and though Sting did beat up two newcomers, I still feel like this is a good use for him since it wasn’t like he beat up FTR or future stars like the Varsity Blondes. 2point0 were made for this, and I’m glad they got this moment.

Sammy Guevara def. Shawn Spears

Before the show, Guevara proposed to his girlfriend, Pam, in front of the Dark crowd, and she said yes! Congrats to Sammy and the future Pammy Guevara!

This was followed by a promo where Spears and Blanchard feigned applause and said, “Slim pickings in Houston, huh?” Absolutely toasted.

Spears tried to turn this verbal assault physical by attacking Guevara before their match, but Sammy heard the footsteps and the two brawled in the middle of Guevara’s entrance. Things quickly went sour for Guevara when Spears and Blanchard hit a spike piledriver on him, and after Aubrey finally rang the bell, the pair tried to do it again, only for the ref to kick Blanchard out.

Spears pulled his kneepad down and kneed the still-rocked Guevara in the corner, continuing the story of this match: these two are really familiar with each other, and they do not like one another. Spears was able to reverse Sammy’s cutter by simply moving away from it. Guevara didn’t get put down by Spears’ avalanche C4, nor did Spears lose to Sammy’s avalanche cutter. Guevara used his advantage later in the match to pull his own kneepads down and hit Spears so hard that it busted him open.

It was a GTH and a stiff 630 from Guevara that put Spears down for a three-count, and Pam embraced her bloody fiancé after all was said and done.

Promo Break: Christian, Lambert, Jericho

Don Callis tries to get in Christian Cage’s head, but Christian says it can’t work since he’s well aware that Kenny’s freaking out over the loss on Rampage. Christian is confident, and Callis is a “carny piece of s–t.”

Dan Lambert of American Top Team returns, this time flanked by former UFC Heavyweight Champions Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski. He says he can’t believe cancel culture has gotten to a point where debates are frowned upon and companies send monsters to attack 52-year-old men for their opinions. He says Tony Khan is sneaky because he knew that UFC doesn’t allow its competitors to wrestle, but “one call to Dana White changed that,” and now Dos Santos and Arlovski will fight whoever’s tough enough to take it. Lance Archer takes the obvious bait, but he’s attacked by Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky while AT&T laughed. Archer has no friends.

Finally, Jericho cut a Pretty Good Jericho Promo™. He endured four labors, and he’s ready for the night, even if he has no Judas song or Judas Effect. He knows his fans will sing him to the ring.

Young Bucks def. Jurassic Express to retain the AEW Tag Team Championships

The last time these two teams faced off, it was face vs face at All Out 2020. The Bucks were cockier this time, not only because they were heels, but because they won that last bout, and their bravado opened them up to many an attack from the opportunistic babyfaces.

Jungle Boy was squirrelly. Luchasaurus was huge. Try as the Young Bucks may, they couldn’t catch a break during a lot of the match’s first half, and they had to eat a few kicks, chokeslams, and semi-tag-finishers before regaining their footing.

The Bucks got their comeback the only way they know how: superkicks. They kicked Luchasaurus into a crawling position, let Jungle Boy jump off of Luchasaurus’s back (something he did earlier for a really cool superplex), and superkicked him out of the air. Matt got Jungle Boy up for a tombstone over Luchasaurus’s body and Nick did a diving dropkick off the top rope, landing a senton on Luchasaurus and an Indietaker on JB for the 2.9.

Marko Stunt tried to will JB to his feet, but Omega ran out and bonked him with a chair, then passed it to Matt so he could beat Jungle Jack the same way Christian beat Omega, but Jack reversed it into a brainbuster on the chair, which would’ve gotten them the pin if Nick didn’t stop it. Luchasaurus tosses Nick out and suplexes Matt into a powerbomb from Jungle Boy (the Thoracic Express?), but Nick broke it up again. All the while, Christian Cage came out and speared Omega, and the two fought into the back.

The Super Elite got super involved then, and Jungle Boy kept having to hit Anderson and Nakazawa and Cutler so they wouldn’t get involved. Luchasaurus did a diving moonsault onto them, but Nick evaded it, getting into the ring just in time to reverse Jungle Boy’s backslide on Matt into a BTE Trigger for the 3.

After this amazing match, Doc Gallows and Kenny Omega emerged from the back with a limp Christian Cage, and Omega finished him off with a One-Winged Angel, for which Callis counted to three and got Omega a visual pin on the new Impact World Champion.

The Longest Promo Break: Hayter, Hardy, Wight, Cargill, HOOK, The Elite

Tony Schiavone interviews Dr. Britt Baker, who says that Red Velvet is a loser and that Statlander is friends with everyone, but it doesn’t maker her tough enough for Baker’s friend. Hayter says that she and Baker go way back, and she’s here to sort out this division, starting with Red Velvet next week. Hayter’s pretty good, even with this small segment.

Matt Hardy says he beat Wheeler Yuta on Dark and that he’ll do the same to all of the Best Friends, whether you’re Yuta, Chuck Taylor, or “lazy ass” Orange Cassidy.

Next, Schiavone’s other best friend, Paul Wight, joined him in the ring to talk about last week, but QT Marshall interrupted and the hot crowd died. Marshall showed us pics of Big Show’s X-rays and his thigh (and, with it, his side-butt). Wight is facing Marshall at All Out. Next.

In a video package, Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling noticed that Kiera Hogan had good matches with Shida and Statlander on Elevation and Dark, respectively, and want to make a statement at her expense this Friday on Rampage.

Taz is in the ring next and introduces HOOK (who nods to crowd apathy — thanks, QT) before introducing Ricky Starks. Starks said he wants to man up and meet Cage face-to-face, so he calls him out, only for the Khan Tron to show Hobbs beating up Cage. Team Taz is pleased until Cage turns the assault around, and then all of Team Taz runs to the back. This is never followed up on.

Finally, Schiavone (putting in a LOT of work in this block) tells Kenny and the Bucks that Tony Khan is sick of their crap and has booked an eliminator tournament featuring the Varsity Blonds, the Lucha Brothers, Private Party, and Jurassic Express. The winners get a steel cage match against the Young Bucks at All Out.

Thunder Rosa def. Penelope Ford

Ford lost her luggage and had to wrestle in her manager attire (i.e. all leather everything and boots), but this didn’t hinder her wrestling ability (that much).

Thunder Rosa went in there and hit the stiff strikes that really make her stand out among the women’s division. Penelope Ford, on the other hand, used her flexibility to get out of certain corner spots and hit one of the more striking spots of the night, a cutter out of nowhere on the outside of the ring.

After the break, Ford hits a running boot in the corner on Rosa, and incensed by this, Rosa hits her own diving drop kick on Ford, bending her over the bottom rope. Ford’s not out of it for too long, though, as she winds up locking Rosa into a very bendy Muta Lock, which Rosa breaks by just rolling over.

Ford tries to break free to get into her next move, but Rosa keeps Ford’s leg locked in and puts Ford into a side-laying STF until Ford finally taps.

A neat little match, though aside from Thunder Rosa’s Texas pop, it didn’t bring back all of the crowd’s energy from earlier.

Promo Break: Death Triangle, the Andersons, Miro, Moxley

PAC’s hyped to kill Andrade. Andrade says PAC can try, but only if PAC agrees to his conditions — which come in the form of a gigantic contract. Chavo congratulates the Lucha Brothers on their tournament spot, but he says they’ll never be nothin’ with PAC as their boss.

Arn and Brock Anderson talk about how Brock has challenged Malakai Black to a match next week, which Arn is terrified about. Arn asks Brock not to take the match, but Brock says he’s not asking. The match is already signed.

Miro says he does NOT forgive Fuego because he got a contract even after Miro sacrificed him, and God is going to get Fuego for that (JESUS, what a threat). Miro’s tired of waiting for people to be sent to him. He challenges Eddie Kingston himself.

Finally, Moxley dunks on the whole roster. He says he gets that everyone wants to be in AEW, but that earlier attack and the call-outs make him wonder why guys like Garcia think this is so easy. There’s guys like Omega who surround themselves with goons. There’s the white knight Hangman Page who can’t get over his high school BS to get the job done. There’s Christian Cage, who should have stayed retired and will get run through by Mox. Mox carried this company through a pandemic, and now Garcia wants a piece of him? Mox will show this kid a main event on Rampage, but he’s going to regret it.

MJF def. Chris Jericho

Jericho and AEW got what they wanted: a beautiful moment where the crowd sang Jericho’s theme song word-for-word and made Jericho look like the legend he is. A lasting memory for what many are calling Jericho’s retirement tour.

MJF immediately went for the arm, but Jericho continually fought him off, taking their fight to the floor, where MJF still was on top. MJF grabbed a ringside camera and we got a POV shot of him flipping off the crowd until he got to Jericho, who punched the camera (which MJF sold like a face shot).

Jericho hit a Lionsault for a two-count; MJF locked in the Walls of Jericho until Jericho grabbed the ropes. MJF hit his Heatseeker piledriver — also for 2 — and when that failed, he returned to Plan A: the arm. Jericho stayed in the Salt of the Earth for a while, but it didn’t put him away.

MJF tried to finish things with the Dynamite Diamond, but Aubrey caught him and took the ring away from him. Jericho used this distraction to hit MJF in the gut with Floyd, but when he tried to hit the Judas Effect, he hesitated, not sure how long Aubrey would be looking away. Instead, MJF hit the Judas Effect on Jericho, knocking him down and locking him in a Salt of the Earth in the middle of the ring until Jericho tapped, clean as a whistle.

I have no idea what’s next for Jericho or MJF, but I do know that MJF has been further elevated by this win. With CM Punk coming very soon, Bryan Danielson likely coming not too long after, and a bunch of new guys hovering around the rumor-sphere, one man who doesn’t need to worry about his spot is one Maxwell Jacob Friedman.

This was an amazing show that I will definitely be rewatching (dead half-hour aside) as the clock ticks down to Friday at 10 p.m.

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