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AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
JULY 20, 2022
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-After the Dynamite opening theme, Excalibur introduced the show along with Taz and Tony Schiavone.
(1) BRODY KING vs. DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting)
Brody came out first. Then Darby. They showed clips of incidents between Darby and Brody in recent weeks. Darby dove through the ropes at the start, but Brody caught him and tossed him hard into the barricade. He choked him against the ringpost as fans chanted “Darby!” Darby shoved Brody and then the match entered the ring. Brody clotheslined Darby, who flip-bumped to the mat. Excalibur noted the shark cage hanging above the ring for their main event later. Brody grabbed Darby his shorts and yanked him around the ring before flinging him against the ropes. Schiavone said it looked like tossing a suitcase onto a bed.
Brody beat up Darby at ringside for an extended stretch as the ref kindly, timidly asked Brody to bring it back into the ring. He finally began counting and got to four before they returned to the ring. Brody tossed Darby to the floor and they cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Brody continued to beat up Darby during the break, including a hard chop to the chest. Back from the break, Excalibur said Brody was “demolishing” Darby. Fans chanted “Let’s Go Darby!” Darby took off his belt and wrapped Brody’s ankles and yanked him to the floor and beat on him. Brody covered his head with his forearms. Darby then quickly ran into the ring, got a running start, and dove through the ropes onto Brody with a cannonball. Back in the ring, Brody caught Darby going for a corner splash with a sleeper. Brody hung Darby upside down and bashed him with chops. Darby avoided a corner flip splash and then hit a quick Code Red for a near fall. Darby applied a submission hold bending both arms of Brody behind his back. He shifted to a sleeper. Brody cannonballed Darby into the corner to break the hold. Both were down and slow to get up.
Darby went for a stunner on the ring apron. Brody blocked it and put Darby in the sleeper, dangling him off the apron like at the battle royal two weeks ago. He dropped Darby to the floor. The ref counted to nine before Darby sprung back into the ring just in time. Brody then gave Darby a Gonzo Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Brody in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a star-making dominant performance from Brody, and while Brody played his part, Darby made Brody look like a killer top level heel.)
-When Brody continued the attack after the match, Sting marched out. Brody waited for him. Sting set up a Scorpion Death Drop, but the lights went dark before he hit the move. The announcers said they heard a thump. The lights came back on and Malakai Black and Sting were in a staredown. Brody stood and put Sting in a sleeper. Malakai then sprayed mist in Sting’s face. Darby was still knocked out. Miro’s music played and he walked onto the ramp. Schiavone said he’s been mentioning the House of Black on recent interviews. Brody and Malakai waited for Miro. Miro stood on the ramp as fans chanted “Miro!” [c]
-Schiavone was backstage to interview Cole Karter. Ricky Starks interrupted, along with Powerhouse Hobbs. Starks said he’s been the FTW Champion for over a year for a reason and he doesn’t see that changing tonight. He said Karter might be the future, but he’s swimming with the sharks now. Karter said his future is going to look similar to his past when he beats him for his title tonight.
(Keller’s Analysis: Karter is Troy “Two Dimes” Donovan, who was just released from NXT. Good to see Starks getting a little Dynamite mic time. Karter seemed a little uncomfortable in the segment as you’d expect from someone this new.)
(2) WHEELER YUTA & JON MOXLEY vs. BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta)
Best Friends came out first, accompanied by Orange Cassidy. They exchanged casual and lazy fist bumps. Taylor and Beretta were arguably a little more obnoxious and arrogant in their demeanor, with a scruffier look for Taylor’s hair. Excalibur said the Best Friends were influential in the early part of Yuta’s career, and then Yuta switched to join forces with the Blackpool Combat Club. William Regal came out with Wheeler Yuta, then made his way to the announce desk. Orange Cassidy also joined the commentators. Moxley made his entrance through the crowd, as usual. Excalibur talked about the visible respect between Moxley and Yuta. Excalibur plugged the ROH PPV this Saturday night in the opening minute of this tag match. When Moxley tagged in Yuta, Yuta falled for Beretta to tag in Taylor. Taylor entered and they circled each other and locked up. Regal tried to engage Cassidy on commentary, but he was a man of few words. Regal was touting that Yuta has more to learn from the Blackpool Combat Club because the Best Friends don’t have the vicious streak needed to succeed. “You need to have some dirty tricks in your back pocket to succeed in this business.” They cut to the commentators at a key point in the match that drew a huge “oooohhh!” from the crowd when someone slapped someone, leading to Beretta being red-faced and tagging in and going after Yuta. (Bad directing choice there.) Yuta fired back against Beretta’s early attack, but Beretta eventually got the better of Yuta. Beretta showed great intensity here as he pummeled Yuta against the ropes. Taylor entered to pull Beretta away from Yuta when he didn’t relent depite the ref’s count. Yuta hit Taylor with a forearm. Beretta then hit Yuta. Yuta rolled to ringside. Taylor threw Yuta hard into the ringside barricade. Mox chased Taylor at ringside and threw a chair at him as they cut to a break. [c/ss]
During the break, Yuta took a steady beating from Beretta and Taylor as Mox anxiously watched from their corner. Mox got a hot-tag in shortly after the break. They cut backstage to show Daniel Garcia watching on a monitor; he’s facing Yuta for the ROH Pure Title at Saturday’s ROH PPV.Mox threw Taylor over a table at ringside and then went back after Beretta in the ring. He gave Beretta a cutter out of mid-air for a two count. Taylor raked Moxley’s face and then delivered an inverted powerbomb out of the corner. That looked nasty. Taylor then gave Yuta a piledriver. Beretta hit a second piledriver on Yuta. Yuta kicked out. Taylor climbed to the top rope, but Yuta began to fight back against Beretta and shoved Beretta into Taylor. Yuta showed fire, but Beretta knocked him down with an elbow. Then he he landed a Crunchy for a near fall, broken up by Moxley. Taylor then entered and he and Mox clotheslined each other. All four were down and slow to get up. Mox returned to his corner, but Beretta knocked him to the floor. Yuta leaped onto Taylor with a front guillotine. Mox stopped Beretta from interfering and applied a figure-four at ringside. Yuta countered Taylor and leveraged his shoulders down for a three count. They cut to Garcia again watching backstage.
WINNERS: Mox & Yuta in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. I hope they just shift Trent and Chuck to full-fledged heels. They made it clear that Orange Cassidy isn’t necessarily part of the mindset that led to this match and the issues with Yuta and Chuck & Trent. This was the most compelling and credible Taylor and Beretta have been in AEW to date. Taylor, especially, has felt like he wasn’t taking anything seriously and his ring work was sometimes frivolous looking. That wasn’t the case here.)
-A brief ROH PPV vignette aired with soundbites from Jonathan Gresham about facing Claudio Castagnoli on Saturday. ROH announcer Ian Riccaboni also talked about the match. It was short.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was short and well produced, but not really substantial enough to get anyone invested in the match who wasn’t already.)
-Chompie the Shark mascot joined Excalibur and Taz at the announce desk as Excalibur hyped “Shark Week” on Discovery Channel. Taz said he was nervous.
-Schiavone introduced Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland in the ring. They came out, walking by a table with cake and champagne on it. Swerve drew attention to rapper Kevin Gates in the front row. Lee asked Gates when he’s dropping the deluxe version of his album. Gates indicated with his fingers it won’t be long. Lee thanked the fans. He handed the mic to Swerve because he said he was getting hot and needed to take off his jacket. Swerve said, “Take it off, Keith! Take it off!” Taz said, “Leave it on, Keith! Leave it on!” Lee went back to thanking the fans for helping them ascend to the top of the tag team division. Lee said he and Swerve don’t look down, so reach up if you want a title shot. As he suggested a toast, Mark Sterling interrupted on the mic and walked to the ring with Tony Nese.
Sterling talked about how most of the locker room has signed his petition to ban Swerve from AEW. Meanwhile, Nese dipped his finger in the cake frosting and licked his fingers. (That’s the first processed sugar and simple carbs he’s probably had in years.) Sterling said he wanted Gates to sign the petition, but he didn’t trust him. He got in his face. Gates leaped over the barricade. Sterling threatened to sue Gates. When Nese stepped between them, Gates punched Nese. Swerve then picked up the cake and threw in the face of Sterling.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was all over the place. Swerve seems more into trying to show how cool he is and how much he’s into his music than being tag champs. There’s just an aloofness to him that offsets the cool factor he could have as a babyface. Lee taking off his jacket because it was too hot was just weird, and it got weirder when Swerve turned it into a strip tease. Whether that was planned or improvised, it wasn’t just weird. The Sterling stuff doesn’t really seem to be serving a purpose at this point.) [c]
-Backstage Schiavone interviewed John Silver, Alex Reynolds, The Butcher, and The Blade. Silver and Reynolds handed “Butch” shirts to Butcher and Blade. Butcher and Blade beat up Silver and Reynolds. “Hangman” Page ran off Butcher & Blade.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sometimes no match hype is better than match hype.)
(3) CHRISTIAN CAGE & LUCHASAURUS vs. THE VARSITY BLONDES (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison)
Christian started, but tagged in Luchasaurus before locking up with Pillman. Luchasaurus dominated Pillman and Garrison for a minute including chokeslamming them, then tagged Christian back. Christian outworked everyone by making the cover for the win.
WINNER: Christian & Luchasaurus in 2:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Christian didn’t do anything that would require him to be medically cleared. I like the idea of Christian being an abusive handler who makes Luchasaurus do all the work.)
-As Luchasaurus lifted Christian onto his shoulders, Jungle Boy’s music played. Christian jerked his head to the entrance stage. Luchasaurus set him down. JB had a chair in hand. Luchasaurus stood in his way at ringside. They stared at each other, but then Luchasaurus turned to stand next to JB. JB smiled and Christian panicked. JB chased Christian up the steps.
(Keller’s Analysis: Hmm. Was that a master plan or a late call to switch Luchasaurus back face? I’d have preferred he stay heel for a lot longer, but we’ll see where this goes. Maybe it’s a swerve and Luchasauris is still with Christian and they’re playing JB. They have to be careful about that so JB doesn’t seem to be the last to realize it. Or perhaps Christian is going to replace Luchasaurus with someone else – perhaps Brian Cage?)
-Lexi Nair interviewed Gunn Club backstage. Colten said they’ve cut The Acclaimed out of their lives and did the scissors fingers as he looked at the camera with a smile. Austin Gunn challenged Caster to a rap battle on Rampage. Austin said the winner gets to pick the stipulations for their tag match.
(Keller’s Analysis: Austin can really rap well and has done guest spots at Caster’s rap shows. He should be sufficiently obnoxious to solidify Caster’s babyface role in this.)
-Jim Ross got his ring entrance to the Oklahoma Sooner theme.
(4) RICKY STARKS (w/Powerhouse Hobbs) vs. COLE KARTER – FTW Title Open Challenge
Starks hopped on one leg on his way to the ring while air guitar playing his FTW Title belt. Taz explained the FTW Title is a rougue title not recognized by AEW. He said there have only been four FTW champs in history – himself, Sabu, Brian Cage, and now Stars. He said he’s proud of him. Starks was cocky early. Karter took some nice hard bumps. Karter made a comeback and clotheslined Starks to the floor. Starks said he needed a break. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
During the break, Starks took control. Starks strutted as he walked the top rope while holding Karter’s hand, then leaped off with a forearm to Karter’s head. He settled into a front facelock mid-ring. Karter made a comeback after the break ended. Karter hit a cutter and then climbed to the top rope, but Starks avoided his 450 and then hit a spear for the win.
WINNER: Starks in 6:00 to retain his FTW Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good showing from Karter here. He got in enough offense and showed enough resilience that it appears they want to protect him early. Karter had a good look and solid ring presence.)
-Afterward, Starks said he fended off that open challenge, but he has more left in the tank. He challenged someone else to step up. Danhaussen made his entrance. Starks’s jaw dropped. Danhaussen accepted the challenge. Starks said he didn’t mean right now. Fans booed. He said he needed some time to “get my neck right,” but he would defend against him next week on Dynamite. Fans booed more. Starks said, “You still can watch it at home, don’t worry.” He imitated Danhaussen briefly.
(Keller’s Analysis: So why did Starks issued the challenge only to rescind it? It implies he either thought on one would answer the challenge or else he feared Danhaussen more than most others who could have answered the challenge. It’s a fun match, but why not just have Starks win and then have Danhaussen walk out and challenge Starks? Keep it simple.)
-Schiavone interviewed Athena, Kris Statlander, and Willow Nightingale backstage. They talked about their tag match later.
(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t think these three know how they come across. I think they’re aiming for playfully fun-loving loosey-goosey, but they’re coming across as really pleased with themselves while showing low-grade middle school acting. Statlander’s acting continues to be an issue.) [c]
-Schiavone stood mid-ring and introduced FTR. Taz and Ross hyped the ROH PPV. Ross said he’s seen the best tag teams since the 1970s and compared them to the Briscoes, the Rock & Roll Express, the Midnight Express, and Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard. He said they’re right there with them and might be leaping over them. Taz said that’s high praise. Cash said he’ll never get used to the type of ovations they’re getting from fans. That led to more cheers and an “FTR” chant. He said 2022 has been “a pretty decent year for FTR.” They had the ROH and IWGP tag belts over their shoulders while wearing the AAA belts around their waists. Cash talked about FTR vs. The Briscoes II on Saturday. He said he respects what the Briscoes have done for 20 years “to help lift tag team wrestling up.” Cash said they respect them, but they won’t let them take the belts away from them. Dax talked about a little five year old girl whose parents took to the doctor. He said the doctor hear an irregular heartbeat. He sent the girl to a cardiologist and it turned out this girl had a hole in the bottom of her heart. He said the girl could work hard and the hole would close on its own, but she might also need surgery. Three years later, the heart was completely closed. Fans cheered. Dax said she worked her ass off and fought to make sure she was healthy. “That little eight year old girl is my daughter,” he said. Fans cheered. He said her daddy is going to fight that hard on Saturday night to build their legacy and make his daughter proud. “I’m going to fight like an eight year old girl,” Dax said. “Top guys, out.”
(Keller’s Analysis: The crowd loves FTR, and Dax opening up like that just further strengthens that bond.)
-Lexi interviewed Jay Lethal, Sonjay Dutt, and Satnam Singh backstage to talk about Samoa Joe vs. Lethal at the PPV. As Lexi brought up something about what Christopher Daniels recently said, Dutt interrupted and told Lethal he’ll become ROH TV Champion on Saturday. Lethal said it’s a shame they have to wait until Saturday to win the ROH TV Title because he’d beat Joe tonight “but Joe doesn’t show up for work.” Daniels interrupted and said if he’s anxious to get in the ring, face him on Rampage on Friday. Lethal said he’s on and also complained about the interruption.
(Keller’s Analysis: So what did Daniels say? This segment didn’t catch Dynamite viewers up on that. Lethal and Dutt are turning up the volume on being obnoxious. I’m not sure this was a particularly effective way to build up the PPV match, though. It did at least give a little build to a Rampage match, but there just wasn’t enough context for Daniels’ involvement.)
-Jade Cargill, Kiera Hogan, and Stokely Hathaway walked out. They were joined by hip hop artist Jermaine Dupri. Stokely said Leila Grey wasn’t cleared to wrestle, but they made sure Statlander was banned from ringside to keep things even. Cargill talked about being from the area and her family is there. She said she’ll show how she’s that bitch and has been that bitch.
(Keller’s Analysis: With the size of AEW’s roster, every week there’s going to be a wrestler two who are in or near their hometown, but that just doesn’t have to be actually brought up unless it serves a purpose to build their character or an angle or match. Otherwise, keep it off air or don’t bring it up at all.)
(5) JADE CARGILL & KIERA HOGAN (w/Stokely Hathaway, Jermaine Dupri) vs. ATHENA & WILLOW NIGHTINGALE
Athena and Jade opened against each other.
They cut to a break a few minutes in as the babyfaces were celebrating a rally at ringside. [c]
Jade scored the pin on Willow after a Jaded.
WINNERS: Jade Cargill & Kiera Hogan.
-Schiavone interviewed Thunder Rosa and Toni Storm backstage. Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter interrupted and said they hope Thunder loses and plugged their match on Rampage.
-The announcers hyped upcoming matches including the ROH PPV.
(6) CHRIS JERICHO vs. EDDIE KINGSTON – Barbed Wire Everywhere match
Justin Roberts introduced the match from mid-ring, surrounded by barbed wire. Even his mic was wrapped in barbed wire. The Jericho Appreciation Society made their entrance. Daniel Garcia, Jake Hager, Matt Mendard, and Angelo Parker made their way to the shark cage. They raised a ruckus as they were locked inside and then it was raised. They showed that Ruby Soho was the “keeper of the key” and also controlled the remote to raise it.
Jericho’s entrance theme played. Ross said he received “a healthy ovation, believe it or not.” He came out with a black mask with white markings as part of his Painmaker persona. The graphic noted he “won Canada’s first barbed wire match over Beef Wellington” on Jan. 19, 1993.
Kingston then made his ring entrance, and when he entered the ring, he took the barbed wire wrapped mic from Justin and attacked Jericho with it. The match officially began 45 minutes into the hour. Fans chanted “Eddie! Eddie!” Kingston said into the mic, “Jericho’s gonna bleed – shark week!” He gouged the mic into Jericho’s forehead. More “Eddie!” chants. Kingston choked Jericho at ringside with a t-shirt. Jericho hit Kingston with the ringside bell. Kingston rammed Jericho’s face into a table at ringside, which had barbed wire attached to the top.
Back in the ring, Kingston grinded Jericho’s forehead into barbed wire near the ropes. Then he hit Jericho with a barbed wire wrapped chair. Ross said it was becoming uncomfortable early. Jericho made a comeback and launching Kingston off the top rope with a huracanrana onto a flat barbed wire table mid-ring. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Jericho continued on the attack. The ref had to help pry some barbed wire out of Kingston’s back. He stood and stumbled, but realized he couldn’t lean on the ropes for support and stopped himself. Back from the break, Kingston threw Jericho into the ropes wrapped in barbed wire. Kingston and Jericho battled on the ring apron. Kingston suplexed Jericho off the ring apron through a barbed wire wrapped table at ringside. Ross said both are in pain and suffering. Jericho’s face was covered in red. Tay Conti ran out and fought with Ruby Soho at ringside. She threw some awful looking punches at Ruby’s arms. Anna Jay came out and pretended to argue with Conti, but then turned and punched Ruby. Ross said they had heard rumors of a reconciliation between Conti and Jay. Anna threw Ruby head-first into the ringpost, then hugged Conti.
Anna then lowered the shark cage. Conti took the key from Rub and went over to unlock Jericho’s guys. She struggled to fit the key into the lock. After over ten awkward seconds, Taz said he wondered if it was even the right key. She handed the key to Kingston. Then they realized they could just slip through the bars so they escaped the cage even though the door remained locked. They ran to the ring and stomped away at Kingston. Ortiz, Claudio Castanoli, Wheeler Yuta, and Jon Moxley ran out to even the odds. Ortiz hit Jericho with his loaded sock, then Kingston suplexed Jericho into a table leaning in the corner. Jericho kicked out. Kingston swung a chair at Jericho, but Jericho blocked it and turned it into a Code Breaker. Jericho scored a two count. He wiped blood out of his eyes, then picked up a chair and smashed Kingston with it. By smashed, I mean he lowered it slowly and tapped Kingston with it on his elbow and knee gently (those were “Hoganesque”). Jericho then put the chair on Kingston and went for a Lionsault, but Kingston blocked it. Kingston then hit a spinning backfist for a near fall. Kingston brought loose barbed wire into the ring and wrapped Jericho with it and then applied the stretch plum.
Sammy Guevara ran out. Excalibur said they haven’t seen him since he was thrown off the top of the cage in Detroit. He kicked Kingston to break the hold, then punched away at Kingston. Guevara shoved Kingston into a Judas Effect for the win.
WINNER: Jericho in 14:00.
-After the match, Jericho went for another punch as Guevara held him, but Kingston mule-kicked Guevara and ducked Jericho. Things got sloppy after that as Guevara and Jericho locked up for some reason. Kingston missed with a spinning backfist that didn’t appear it was meant to miss. He threw Guevara out of the ring and then threw Jericho onto a barbed wire platform at ringside, which Excalibur called “a barbed wire spider web.” Jericho cried out in pain, but the barbed wire wasn’t dense enough to really seem like a big deal. The show ended as Kingston looked on from the ring apron.
(Keller’s Analysis: It largely lived up to the stipulation. Lots of blood from Jericho, liberal and creative use of the barbed wire, and a sense of intensity other than those chairshots. The match sequence was sloppy and the “grand finale” of the barbed wire spider web wasn’t well thought out. Of course, the Tay Conti trouble with the lock adds to AEW’s unfortunate legacy of having moments where fans either laugh or groan when it’s not the intended reaction for special effect matches.)