SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
AUGUST 17, 2022
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The show opened with a brief video package mixing AEW wrestlers with characters in “Game of Thrones” and “House of Dragons.”
-Jim Ross introduced the show as pyro blasted. Ross said Chris Jericho would be joining them.
-C.M. Punk’s music played and he made his way onto the stage. He brought his AEW World Title belt with him. A loud “C.M. Punk!” chant rang out. Ross said the buzz with Punk and Jon Moxley doesn’t happen often. He added, “Feel this with us.” Punk said he was trying to put on his tough guy game face, but the fans made him smile. He held up his belt. He then said he wanted to challenge someone to a rematch who is from around those parts. He sat mid-ring in front of his belt and said to Hangman Page, “You want that rematch? You got it right here, right now. Let’s go.” Excalibur asked if Punk was even medically cleared. Ross said they’re not even sure if Hangman Page is there. Punk tapped the mic, then stood and said that’s not Cowboy Shit, it’s Coward Shit. He said he had some advice he should take. He said the apology should be as loud and as public as the disrespect. Fans groaned. He said if anybody else has a problem with him, come on down. “Everybody wants to be the champ until it’s time to do champ shit. Another “C.M. Punk” chant rang out, but not as loud.
Punk said Moxley has a lot of fans, and he might be no. 1 in their heart, but he’s not no. 1 in the ring because he’s the actual champion. He said he knows what it takes to talk a big game and say that you’re the best in the world and breath that into existence. He said he also knows what it means to lose. He said he has lost big, but Mox has always been no. 2. “There’s always that guy that has his number,” he said. “I’m that guy.” Fans booed. He said they can boo, but let him know when he’s telling lies. He said Mox was the third-best guy in his group, “and that seems to be a recurring thing in his career.” He said it doesn’t make him a bad guy, but it doesn’t make him the best, either. He said Mox has been carrying the torch for AEW, but the only person who has broken bones in the last six months was him. “They were mine,” he said. He reiterated to the fans to tell him when he’s telling lies.
He told fans to look up what Interim means. He said it means temporary. He said he’s willing to test himself against Mox, but Mox isn’t willing to test himself against his best friend. He said his best friend is the third-best Eddie he’s been in the ring with and he’s the second-best Kingston he’s shared a locker room with. More “ohhhs” from the fans. He said, “These people aren’t number one at anything. Tell me when I’m telling lies.” Another “C.M. Punk” chant broke out, not as loud as at the start, but not weak as the second one. Punk said he’s missed being in the ring. He said at All Out, he’s looking forward to testing himself against no. 2. He said Mox isn’t even the first Jon he’s going to beat in Chicago for the championship belt, “and he’s certainly not number one in that category, either.”
Moxley’s music played. Punk said it’ll be a while before he gets in the ring, so he’s going to do snow angels. Taz said Punk should get off his back and quit playing games because Mox appears to be in a mood. Mox swaggered through the crowd. Excalibur said you can only put Moxley’s name out there so many times before getting a response. Taz said Mox is being calculating. Ross agreed. He said those two can’t trust each other with what’s at stake.
Fans chanted “Moxley” as Mox entered the ring. “Look out everybody, C.M. Punk is throwing pipe bombs,” he said. He said he’s doing what he does best, which is writing checks with his mouth that his body can’t cash. He waved his boot toward Punk, a reference to Punk’s broken foot. Mox said that mic in his hands isn’t power. He said it’s just a mic and all the words he spits into it don’t mean shit. He said the belt on his shoulder don’t mean shit. Punk interjected, “Who’s living in a fantasy world now?” Mox said his belt over his shoulder “don’t mean shit” until he beats him. He said he’s the heart and soul of AEW, and every time he hears “interim” it makes him sick. Punk said Mox can be the heart and soul, while he’ll be the dollars and cents.
After a couple seconds of silence, Punk asked Mox if he’s done talking. Mox said, “We all know you only came to AEW because you ran out of money, so don’t give me that.” Mox said being the best is about heart and soul and guts and fighting spirit, “and we both know you ran out of fighting spirit a long time ago.” He got Punk’s face and dared him to prove him wrong. “I don’t think you’re going to do shit.” He shoulder-butted him. Punk said they have a match coming up at the PPV and he will soundly defeat him there. “If I touch you now, I’m afraid you’re just going to bleed all over me,” he said. Mox got in Punk’s face. Punk shoved Mox. Mox put his hands behind his back and lightly head-butted Punk. Then he slapped him. They punched away at each other. Security ran into the ring to pull them apart.
Excalibur plugged the match at All Out to unify the belts. Punk tried to break free at Mox as Mox stood on the second rope. Mox tried to jump over the crowd of security to get at Punk. They were separated again. “Let them fight!” chanted the fans. Mox threw a chair into the ring. Punk sat on it and called Mox into the ring. Mox slid in. Security again jumped all over Mox and pulled him to ringside. Ross said the expression on Punk’s face has changed multiple times in five minutes. Mox began to leave, then returned to the ring. Punk was waiting and threw some forearms as security pried them apart again. Taz said it’s almost impossible to get a good strike in on someone in these pull-apart situations.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was just tremendous. Like, mega-tremendous. I wonder if it would have been that heated if not for what Drew McIntyre and Kevin Owens did on WWE Raw on Monday. This segment felt like Punk and Mox said, “Oh yeah, you thought that was good. Watch us.” The killer line for a few seconds was Mox saying Punk came back for the money, and just when you thought Punk was reeling and perhaps too rusty, he fired back with the line about being afraid Mox will bleed all over him if he touches him. That’s the type of segment that sells tickets and PPVs buys. Punk seemed to be leaning heel, but he kept holding off boos with the line about “tell me when I’m lying.” It’s great that Mox is got red-hot this summer while Punk was out injured because this match feels bigger than if they had wrestled earlier. That’s the type of segment that should get the adrenaline flowing backstage and lead to a better show. It also should be inspiring to the Leveseque-led WWE crew, too.)
-Excalibur hyped the Dynamite line-up.
-Tony Schiavone interviewed Powerhouse Hobbs backstage. He asked why he attacked Ricky Starks from behind because he thought they were friends. Hobbs said he doesn’t need any friends. He said Starks proved to the whole world that he’s okay with losing. He said he’s not okay with losing. He said for two years Starks got to parade around like he was a gift to the business while standing behind him because he know he’d get the job done. He said he breaks backs and necks. He said as far as Q.T. Marshall and The Factory goes, he’s got something for them.
-They showed Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat at ringside.
-Chris Jericho walked out to his music. Announcers recapped what happened last week on Dynamite between Jericho and Moxley. Ross asked why it couldn’t be Match of the Year. Taz said it was a bloody, brutal, physical battle last week. Jericho joined the announcers on commentary.
(1) “THE AMERICAN DRAGON” BRYAN DANIELSON vs. DANIEL GARCIA – Two out of Three Falls
Jericho said he hasn’t liked Steamboat since 2009. Danielson shook Steamboat hand at ringside. Garcia then made his entrance. His big screen graphic said, “Dragon Slayer.” Danielson went for a takedown early, but Danielson countered. Bryan ended up on top and punched at Garcia, but Garcia scrambled out from under him. This all felt real. He got behind Danielson and went for a sleeper. Daniels flipped him over. Danielson then applied a leglock. Compelling tightly-wound series of moves and counter-moves on the canvas in the opening two minutes. A graphic advertised Jungle Boy would speak later. Jericho said Garcia is perhaps the most technically gifted sports entertainer ever. Fans chanted, “Let’s Go Bryan!” They cut to a split-screen break at 2:00. [c/ss]
Danielson landed a running dropkick at Garcia in the corner after the break. He mounted Garcia and took him down, but Garcia rolled through for a near fall. They exchanged chops and uppercuts mid-ring. Danielson grounded Garcia as Excalibur hyped All Out week in Chicago. Garcia avoided a leaping Danielson off the ring apron and then suplexed him on the mat. Garcia pounded Danielson with elbows and then began to apply his Dragon Tamer. Danielson immediately rolled out of it and upkicked Garcia and dropped him into a triangle sleeper. Garcia stood out of it and piledrove Danielson. Then he locked on a Dragon Sleeper mid-ring. Danielson faded and the ref called for the fall as Danielson was out. Excalibur said that’s the second time Garcia has put Danielson to sleep.
FALL ONE WINNER: Garcia in 10:00.
Garcia told the ref to count Bryan down for the second fall. The ref began his count. Ross said he started it too early. Jericho told Ross not to be a goody two-shoes like Steamboat. Danielson pulled himself up by the second rope. Garcia charged at him and stomped away at him in the corner. He stuck a post and gloated before going back at Danielson. They cut to a break a couple minutes into the second fall as Garcia landed a running dropkick in the corner. [c]
Back from the break, Danielson attempted a comeback. Garcia took back control and wrenched on a Dragon Sleeper and suplexed him while holding on. Danielson was bleeding from his forehead. Danielson turned Garcia over while still in the Dragon Sleeper and scored a leverage three count.
FALL TWO WINNER: Danielson in 15:00 overall.
Garcia went right back after Danielson after the pin. Danielson set up a back suplex off the top rope. Taz said it’s dangerous and felt a little desperate. Danielson held onto the top rope by his legs as he released-suplexed Danelson onto the mat. He climbed to the top and hit Garcia with a missile dropkick. Danielson took a running dive through the ropes and tackled Garcia at ringside. He then threw a barrage of Yes Kicks and threw Garcia head-first into the ringpost. He grabbed his arms and yanked him into the ringpost. Garcia yanked back. They broke grip and both fell backwards to the ringside mat. Excalibur noted the death of Gene LeBell.
Garcia, now bleeding from his forehead, beat the count. He called for Danielson and Danielson then beat the count. They cut to a split-screen break with both men on the mat exhausted. [c/ss]
Garcia went for his Dragon Tamer. Danielson escaped and went for a LeBell Lock mid-ring. Garcia leveraged Danielson’s shoulders down for a two count. They battled a couple more minutes. Garcia held Danielson’s arms and stomped away at his chest, using his move against him. Danielson came back with headbutts and stomps of his own. Garcia began to fade. Danielson then applied a Dragon Sleeper. Garcia stood, but then collapsed. Danielson held on as Garcia tried to punch his way out of it. Danielson shifted into a LeBell Lock attempt. Garcia resisted. Danielson threw more strikes and then applied the LeBell Lock. The ref declared Garcia was out and called for the bell. Ross called it a classic.
WINNER: Danielson two falls to one in 27:00.
-Afterward, Danielson applauded and had some encouraging words for Garcia as Garcia began to come to. Danielson asked the fans to cheer on Garcia to shake his hand. As it appeared Garcia was about to shake his hand, Jericho charged into the ring and attacked Danielson from behind. Garcia didn’t like it. He turned Jericho around and shot him a look. Jericho scolded him. Fans chanted, “Garcia! Garcia!” Garcia slapped Jericho’s finger out of his face. Jericho yelled that he better think through this and then left the ring. Fans then chanted, “You’re a wrestler!” Taz said that’s opposed to a sports entertainer. Taz said Garcia seemed torn. He looked over at Danielson, then left the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Not that I don’t want to see these two wrestle each other again, but what a tag team they’d make. Given AEW’s initial commitment to tag team wrestling, they’d be a dynamic centerpiece babyface act in the tag division to battle the Bucks, FTR, and so many others. That match was really special. Garcia is so good and such a perfect match-up for Danielson for him to show off a style he loves. Just compelling from start to finish.)
-Schiavone interviewed Private Party and Swerve & Keith Lee about their match on Rampage. Private Party said they’re ranked no. 5. Swerve said Private Party have been around for years and that’s the closest they’ve come to the tag team titles. Swerve told them to respect their elders. Lee said after their match on Friday when they swerve in their glory, they can walk their happy asses back down the ladder. When Marq Quen got in Lee’s face, Lee offered him a stick of gum.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good segment to set up the match on Friday.)
-A commercial aired for Rampage: Swerve & Lee vs. Private Party, Orange Cassidy & Best Friends vs. Trust Busters, and Hook’s open challenge begins.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a pretty good line-up for the recently much-maligned Rampage.) [c]
-As Tony Nese and “Smart” Mark Sterling walked out, Mox attacked them from behind. Mox charged to the ring and yelled, “C.M. Punk, I’ve been waiting too damn long for you to come back. I’m sick of waiting. You want to unify these belts, I say let’s do it right now and let’s get this shit over with!” Punk ran out, but security followed and they were pulled apart. Claudio Castagnoli held Mox back.
-Schiavone interviewed Jericho, Matt Menard, and Angelo Parker. Schiavone said it appears there’s dissension in the J.A.S. Jericho said he’s going to forgive him because he got knocked on his head or maybe he really is wavering between him and Danielson. He said next week he wants to meet him in the ring and find out who’s side he’s on. Steamboat interrupted. He said he’s watched Garcia and he is coming into his own. He said Garcia doesn’t need guys like J.A.S. Steamboat said if anybody should mentor Garcia, Danielson would be the better choice. Jericho told him he hasn’t liked him for 15 years and he should stay out of his business. Parker grabbed Steamboat and told him to stay out of their business. Steamboat chopped Parker in the chest and said, “Look at me now!”
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s great usage of a legend. Steamboat got physical, but not in a dangerous way. He also gave sincere logical advice to a young wrestler and recalled a past altercation and feud they had in WWE.)
(2) THE GUNN CLUB (Colten & Austin Gunn) vs. THE VARSITY BLONDES (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison)
Colten finished off Garrison within seconds with a Colt 45. Pillman never was in the match, nor was Austin. Ross asked, “What the hell happened?” Excalibur said maybe the trip to the wood shed worked. Ross said it worked for him when he was a youngster.
WINNERS: Gunn Club in 10 seconds.
-Billy said he’s proud of them. He said he has been hard on them, but he’s super-proud. He said he’s done a lot of great things in his career, but working with them has been one of them. They hugged. Taz said it’s nice. Stokely Hathaway walked out. The Gunns attacked Billy from behind as Stokely applauded. The Acclaimed charged out. Austin & Colten bailed out into the crowd. Ross said he couldn’t believe they took out their father. He said it’s pathetic. Excalibur called it unconscionable. Anthony Bowens asked Billy, “Scissor me, baby!” Billy stood and hugged Bowens and Max Caster. Their music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: That got a decent pop, but nothing huge. I’m not sure if Billy Gunn and The Acclaimed seems like a good fit, nor does extending the Acclaimed-Gunn Brothers feud. The “scissors me” thing just doesn’t seem to be clicking.)
-A video package aired on Sonjay Dutt, Jay Lethal, and Satnum Singh going at it with Wardlow last week, with FTR coming out to even the odds. It included Satnum telling Wardlow to “powerbomb me if you’re that strong.” [c]
-Pac, Penta, and Rey Fenix stood backstage talking about their match next week in the Trios Title Tournament. Pac said if they haven’t heard how dangerous Death Triangle is, they must’ve had their head in a box. He said they’d see them in Cleveland next week.
-Jungle Boy made his ring entrance to “Tarzan Boy.” They aired a clip of the angle last week with Christian, JB, and Luchasaurus. As JB’s music faded, there was a brief, timid “Jungle Boy” chant. He thanked the fans. He held the mic too far from his mouth as he talked about wearing a special t-shirt a couple weeks ago. He said it got him in trouble and was told to never wear that shirt on TV again ever. “Fair enough,” he said. “But boy oh boy did that shirt hit the nail on the head.” (Nobody knew what he was talking about in the crowd.) He said he has tried to hit Christian every way he could – with his hands, a chair, and a car. “And he has done absolutely nothing,” he said. “And me, personally, I’d never take that.” He said the way he sees it, either he can continue to chase him until he gets his hands on him – he paused to give a death stare to a fan yelling “What?” at him between sentences – “or you can man up and face me at All Out.”
Christian’s music played. Christian walked out and asked if JB was really challenging him. “Well, my answer is no.” Fans booed. He said things are getting out of hand. He said at the end of the day, he’s proud of JB. He said he’s showing confidence and speaking for himself. He said before it was like he was from Charleston and couldn’t form a sentence. “Obviously frustration boiled over when you lost the tag team championships,” he said. “We said some things, we did some things, Jungle Boy, that I don’t think either of us meant. I mean, you got a little personal, but I understand.” He said he wanted to go on another run with him. Fans chanted, “Bullshit!” Christian said the fans have never accomplished anything, so don’t listen to them.
Christian said they’re a family and he loves him. “You are like a son to me,” he said. “Come back home.” He asked for a hug. Schiavone said he can’t believe Christian after all he’s said to JB. Excalibur said he’s just fearing what he’s unleashed in JB after all he’s said to him. JB pretended to consider it and moved in for a hug, but then tackled Christian. Fans popped. JB got in a few punches before Christian rolled to ringside. JB went after Christian, but Christian gave him a low-blow and threw him into the ringside barricade. JB reversed Christian into the ringside steps. He bashed his head into the steps a few times, then stomped on his arm. JB shoved his skull into the steps twice. Referees and officials pulled them apart. [c]
-FTR and Wardlow spoke backstage. Cash Wheeler said last week they returned and stood side-by-side with Wardlow. He said Wardlow didn’t ask for help, but they weren’t going to let Wardlow get jumped by them. Wardlow said it doesn’t matter how big you are, everyone gets powerbombed. Dax Harwood said at one time people called Jay Lethal the best wrestler in the world, but he thinks “Dax the Axe” is the best. He challenged him a match next week.
(Keller’s Analysis: Wardlow has a chance to get out of the muck his character is in by playing off of FTR in this type of setting. He seemed more in his element there.)
(3) TONI STORM vs. KILYNN KING
They showed Thunder Rosa standing backstage watching on a monitor. They fought to ringside and cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
King was in control after the break. Taz said if she were to beat Storm, it would shake up the standings. Storm came back with a hip attack, a swinging DDT, and a pendulum DDT for the win. They showed Rosa applauding slowly backstage while watching on a monitor.
WINNER: Storm in 6:00.
-A vignette aired on the Trust Busters vs. Best Friends & Cassidy match scheduled for Rampage. Excalibur hyped Swerve & Lee vs. Private Party, Peneleope Ford vs. Athena, a Claudio promo, and Hook vs. Zack Clayton. A vignette aired on Hook vs. Clayton, with highlights of both of them. Excalibur said it has just been made official that Storm will challenge Thunder Rosa at All Out. He also hyped Dynamite next week: Will Ospreay & Aussie Open vs. Death Triangle and Dax vs. Lethal. Excalibur announced that Mox vs. Punk would take place next week on Dynamite to unify the AEW Titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: Well, that’s huge. The ratings for that show will be something to analyze.)
(4) ANDRADE EL IDOLO & RUSH & DRAGON LEE (w/Jose the Assistant) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS & KENNY OMEGA – Trio Title Tournament match
Andrade & Lee & Rush came out first. They showed Steamboat at ringside again. Ross said he was gobsmacked by the announcement of Punk vs. Mox taking place next week. The Bucks came out with Brandon Cutler first. Excalibur said that with all due respect to Cutler, he doesn’t know about their chances if he’s the Bucks’ partner. Justin Roberts entered the ring and was handed a note by Cutler. He made a big ordeal out of announcing their partner. He went into the Kenny Omega introduction with the over-the-top list of accolades. It also included a note that his favorite candy bar is the Charleston Chew. (Nice touch.) Omega came out to a big pop, accompanied by Don Callis. Excalibur said they haven’t seen him since Full Gear 2021. Callis joined the announcers on commentary. The announcers touted Omega’s return. Omega and the Bucks talked a bit and smiled. The bell rang 38 minutes into the hour. Callis talked about the many surgeries Omega had. He was sporting a shoulder brace and wore a skin-tight black t-shirt that perhaps helped hold it in place. Ross asked how close to 100 percent Omega was. Callis said not to get caught up in minutia.
Omega tagged in at 2:00. Omega played to the crowd as he mounted Lee in the corner, then punched away at him. Fans counted along. Omega chuckled when he had a clunky landing and then tagged out. Callis said even if you’re a God of Wrestling, you have to shake off the rust. Omega tagged back in a minute later continued to isolate Lee. Lee made a comeback and tagged in Andrade. Jose stood on the ring apron. Rush hit a distracted Omega from behind. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Omega took a beating during the break. The announcers hyped the Punk-Mox match next week. Taz called it the biggest match in Dynamite history. They cut to another split-screen break. [c/ss]
Omega made a comeback after the break, tossing all three opponents hard onto their heads with released German suplexes. Ross said Omega doesn’t look 100 percent. Taz said they are seeing spurts of excellence from him. Ross said at his core, he is still Kenny Omega. The Bucks double-teamed Lee and played to the crowd. Omega clutched his ribs as he entered the ring. He joined the Bucks in a triple Superkick. Andrade broke up the cover. The Bucks cleared the ring and tagged Omega in. Omega gingerly entered the ring and looked around to the fans. He then patted the mat and ran the ropes, but took so long that Lee recovered and tripped him. Omega’s left knee buckled. He limped to his feet and the leg gave out as he stepped on it. He tried again, but this time Jose tripped him. Jose and Rush held Omega on the ringside barricade and then Andrade held the ropes open. Lee then dove through the ropes and landed a flying flip cutter onto the crowd. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” That was wild. Omega was down and not moving. Rush and Andrade rolled Omega into the ring. Lee scored a near fall.
Lee tagged in Andrade who climbed the ropes. Nick held Andrade’s leg. Lee took Nick down with a flying huracanrana. Andrade went for a moonsault. Omega moved, but Charlotte Flair-style, Andrade continued through with a standing moonsault for a two count. Ross said there’s a distinct difference between ring rust and toughness. Andrade gave Omega his hammerlock DDT and scored a two count, broken up when Matt shoved Rush into Andrade. Omega caught Lee with a kneelift and then signaled for a V-Trigger. He charged and hit it. Then he pulled Lee’s dead weight up into his shoulders for a One-Winged Angel and then delivered for the three count.
Cutler entered and immediately cold sprayed Omega. Omega checked on Lee as if apologizing for knocking him out legit with the V-Trigger. Andrade loosened Lee’s mask and held him up and raised his arm. However, Andrade then gave him a hammerlock DDT. Lee’s mask came off. The announcers were outraged as the Bucks and Omega looked on.
WINNERS: Bucks & Omega in 21:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Omega didn’t look sharp there and the announcers kept drawing attention to it. It came across like he was taped together and not ready for his return. I hope Lee was okay, but it sure seemed like he was legit dead weight for the One-Winged Angel, and Omega’s reaction afterward felt like an apology. The angle with Lee at the end felt rushed, but suggests a Lee vs. Rush or Andrade feud is up next.)