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AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
OCTOBER 5, 2022
WASHINGTON D.C. AT SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Tony Schiavone, William Regal
-After the Dynamite opening, Excalibur introduced the show as pyro blasted.
(Keller’s Analysis: Not to be negative about this anniversary right off the bat, but this venue is so much smaller than the first Dynamite in the same city three years ago when AEW felt red-hot and destined for greatness. Symbolically, it’s not the greatest sign of progress. The venue otherwise looks decent, but the upper deck was so dark it seemed to be an effort to hide how empty it is. One might say the crowd size is reflective of the audience they’ve been catering to for the last three years.)
(1) MJF vs. WHEELER YUTA
MJF walked out without a mic. He looked at the crowd and grabbed his genitals over his trunks and yanked on them. The camera seemed to move away rather than in on that gesture. Excalibur said MJF is an odious person. Taz said MJF doesn’t care what people think about him and he respects that about him. Fans chanted “MJF” and he shrugged his shoulders and smiled. The announcers hyped some of the other scheduled matches. MJF settled into a chinlock a few minutes in. A dueling chant of “Let’s Go Yuta! / MJF” broke out. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Both wrestlers were down after the break and slow to get up after Yuta reverse-whipped MJF into the corner turnbuckle. It seemed like quite the oversell by MJF to be practically paralyzed from merely being whipped into the corner. The ref began counting both down. A “Yuta!” chant briefly broke out. The announcers noted MJF’s last match was 129 days ago. (I doubt they’re going to mention how that went.) Yuta gave MJF a German suplex into a bridge. He held on and did two more and scored a two count. Yuta held on, then kipped up and showed fire. He climbed to the top rope next, but MJF rolled to the opposite corner. Regal said you can’t blame MJF for that. MJF came back and powerbombed Yuta over his knee. Yuta’s head bounced off the back of the mat. MJF scored a near fall. Regal criticized MJF for not seizing the moment more aggressively. Taz first at defended him, but then said he might be being too cocky as he taunted Yuta. Yuta landed an enzuiguri and then got fired up again. Excalibur mentioned “the late, great Antonio Inoki.”
They rolled around the ring and reversed leveraged near falls over and over mid-ring. Yuta countered an MJF tombstone attempt, but MJF reversed it back, and then they leveraged each other’s shoulders down in a series of jackknife leverage two counts. They stood and leaped at each other with clotheslines. Both went down and the crowd applauded. Excalibur noted that the show will be running longer than two hours.
MJF set up a tombstone on the second rope. Yuta broke free and raked MJF’s eyes. MJF cried out in pain. “Time well spent with Jon Moxley,” said Regal. Yuta head-scissored MJF off the top rope. MJF rolled to ringside. Yuta quickly dove through the ropes and shoulder tackled him into the barricade. Fans chanted “Yuta!” Yuta climbed to the top rope, but MJF rolled away and gave Yuta a middle finger. In response, Yuta leaped with a diving splash three-fourths of the way across the ring and scored a two count.
Yuta grounded MJF and dropped some elbows. MJF countered into a Salt of the Earth armbar. Yuta resisted, but eventually MJF got the tapout win.
WINNER: MJF in 15:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: The match wasn’t exactly electric early, with MJF working a methodical pace most of the way, but it was certainly a good match that held the crowd’s attention during the slower parts early when MJF was milking every move. The final minutes were really good, and the rolling pin attempts that can sometimes seem corny and old school in a bad way actually worked. MJF’s intensity during one cover in particular was great; wrestler who look like they’re going to drown if they don’t do everything possible to keep their opponent’s shoulders down is one of those little things that can really elevate the immersive drama of a match.)
-After the match, Yuta told MJF to shake his hand. Excalibur said there’s more than seven years of history between them. MJF moved in for a handshake, but then Lee Moriarty attacked Yuta from behind. MJF yelled, “I didn’t tell you to do that!” Stokely Hathaway showed up on the ring apron, took a bite of an apple, and then handed MJF the Dynamite Diamond Ring. Moriarty held Yuta’s arms behind his back so MJF could hit him. Regal walked toward the ring as MJF was thinking things through. Regal put brass knuckles on and stared at MJF. Fans chanted “Regal! Regal!” Fans chanted, “You f—ed up!” at MJF. Taz joked fans were chanting that at Regal. MJF turned and left the ring, seeming to show deference to Regal.
-A video package aired on the main event tag with clips of Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara being together early in AEW, Bryan Danielson’s arrival, Anarchy in the Arena, and the Jericho-Daniel Garcia drama.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nice video package to set the stage for the main event. Maybe a little too much was covered in a concise time period, so it probably worked better for regular viewers to remind them of key moments more than it caught up anyone new.)
-Schiavone interviewed Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, and Chris Jericho backstage. Parker told Garcia they love him and they’re his family, but he’s lost his way. Jericho said Garcia is like a petulant kid who sticks his finger in a socket when he’s warned not to. Jericho said they taught him how to be a great sports entertainer. Schiavone said, “You mean systematic cheating, right?” Jericho said he hopes Garcia makes the right decision. Guervara said if he doesn’t, they will end him. Jericho said he’ll leave Toronto as the Ring of Jericho champion and continue to desecrate the Ring of Honor legacy.
(Keller’s Analysis: I wonder if Guevara also would have been sent home after the backstage fight with Andrade as Andrade was if he weren’t scheduled for the main event of the anniversary show tonight?)
(2) JAY LETHAL vs. DARBY ALLIN
Excalibur sent best wishes to Bobby Cruz after taking the Judas Effect last week. Taz joked about Lacrosse players being tougher than amateur wrestlers. Schiavone said his son jokes that men are amateur wrestling during boys’ basketball season. After a few minutes of back and forth action, they cut to a partial split screen break. [c/pss]
Back from the break, Lethal was in control. Sonjay Dutt and Satnam Singh walked out onto the stage. Lethal told them he wanted to fight alone and to leave. Darby then caught Lethal with a pin attempt. They countered each other until Darby finally applied Last Supper for the three count.
WINNER: Darby in 10:00.
-Darby told Lethal afterward he doesn’t need Sonjay and Singh. He offered a handshake. Lethal paused. Darby shoved him. Lethal grimaced and then shook Darby’s hand. Excalibur said Lethal was observing the Code of Honor even though this wasn’t ROH.
(Keller’s Analysis: That post-match angle felt too similar to the post-match happenings after the opener. The match itself was solid. I’m not sure what the rationale would be for turning Jay Lethal back, but he doesn’t seem worth “spending” a turn on in the sense that the more out-of-nowhere turns there are, the more it waters down others.)
-A video aired with The Embassy including Prince Nana and Brian Cage. Cage said this isn’t a comeback, this is his arrival. He said he’s going to become TNT Champion. Nana sang, “We in the money!”
(Keller’s Analysis: This is where the show really felt like it was “too ROH.” Who is Prince Nana? What is this faction? Why is it being presented on Dynamite as if he’s an established character on the show?)
(3) WARDLOW vs. BRIAN CAGE (w/Prince Nana) – TNT Title match
Cage powered Wardlow into the corner at the start. Wardlow fired back with punches. They collided mid-ring seconds later and neither went down. They exchanged punches mid-ring. Wardlow took Cage over with a head scissors, which popped the crowd. Cage came back with a 619 attempt, but Wardlow caught him and powerslammed him mid-ring. A “Wardlow!” chant broke out. Wardlow set up a powerbomb, but Cage powered out of it and slammed Wardlow. As he celebrated, they cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Cage suplexed Wardlow into the ring and scored a two count. Cage scored a near fall a minute later. He flexed, then set up a powerbomb. Wardlow slipped free and headbutted Cage twice, then clotheslined him. Wardlow lowered his straps and then powerbombed Cage. Fans chanted “One more time!” Wardlow set up a second powerbomb, taking his time as Cage just lay on the mat selling the first one. Wardlow succeeded with a second one. Wardlow again took his time and his a third and a quick fourth for the win.
WINNER: Wardlow in 10:00.
-After the match, The Gates of Agony (Toa Liona & Kaun) attacked Wardlow. Samoa Joe charged out and came to Wardlow’s aid. He was outnumbered, though. FTR’s music played and they got the pop of the night heading to the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: The more I watch AEW lately, the more I wonder how much better off AEW would be right now if Tony Khan had not purchased ROH. There’s just too many wrestlers and storylines and titles from ROH being blended into AEW without context and it’s hurting the product. Good to see FTR back on Dynamite. This was a hell of a “big man match.” I think they could have and should have gotten way more out of Wardlow vs. Brian Cage than just having a match, basically out of nowhere from the perspective of a Dynamite viewer, and having Wardlow win decisively.) [c]
-Britt Baker said as a role model, she feels obligated to answer the question everyone is asking. She said Saraya will not be wrestling in AEW because doctors haven’t cleared her. She said they should wrap her in bubble wrap and send her on her way. “I guess this makes it my house now, right?”
-Excalibur said, “I’m not sure who those doctors are.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Huh? Either she’s cleared or she isn’t, but why would the well-informed lead announcer for AEW cast doubt on what Baker said if it’s going to actually turn out to be confirmed as true? And if it’s not true and Saraya is cleared to wrestle, let’s get on with it and make that declaration.)
(4) TONI STORM & ATHENA & WILLOW NIGHTINGALE (w/Saraya) vs. SERENA DEEB & JAMIE HAYTER & PENELOPE FORD (w/Britt Baker, Rebel)
Taz said Athena is really crafty. Schiavone said he likes that term. Taz said, “I’ve got a bunch of adjectives.” They cut to a split-screen break a few minutes in. [c/ss]
Willow got a hot-tag and rallied. When Deeb took over, she choked Willow over the middle rope. Rebel held up a crutch at ringside and Willow, in one of the dumbest things you’ll see in your lifetime, begged her not to hit her as Rebel held the crutch up in a threatening way toward the crowd with her back turned to Willow. Willow could have used that energy yelling and waving her arms to JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY. She also had time to push her hair aside while yelling “No! No! No!” Saraya intervened and yanked the crutch away from Rebel. (Honestly, some of this stuff is just amateur hour and embarrassing.) Back in the ring, Willow surprised Deeb with a small package for a two count. Willow then hit Deeb with a lousy-looking Pounce. Even Schiavone tried to cover for it. Penelope tagged in and hit Willow with a spinning hook kick. Athena entered illegally and dropped Penelope onto her knees. Everyone took turns entering the ring and hitting moves. Willow kicked Hayter. Penelope gave Willow a Cutter and scored a two count.
As Penelope handspringed into the ropes for a rebound move, Willow nailed her with a basement dropkick to the chest. Willow then gave Penelope a Doctor Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Willow & Athena & Storm in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Hard work, but mostly a collection of a lot of moves. I like the idea of giving Willow a moment in the spotlight. Other than that one awful spot in the match, she’s a wrestler I think fans can get behind and root for as an underdog with great fighting spirit.)
-Baker approached Saraya after the match. Saraya hit Baker with a forearm. A brawl broke out with everyone. Saraya threw Baker out of the ring. Rebel entered the ring and then dropped to her knees and begged off. Saraya kicked Rebel in the head and yelled as her music began to play.
-Excalibur plugged Rush vs. Hangman Page. Then they went to a pre-taped interview Schiavone conducted with Rush, Jose the Assistant, and Private Party. Jose showed Private Party a clip on the monitor of Hangman and Rush battling in the ring, then Rush attacking Hangman from behind. Rush then yelled at Private Party to do the right thing tonight. Jose said Matt Hardy might be in their ear, but they should do the right thing. [c]
-The Acclaimed came out. Max Caster rapped about the Senators insider trading their stock and President Biden saying “scissor me timbers and didn’t even stutter it,” and then proclaimed it National Scissoring Day. Excalibur said everyone is celebrating National Scissoring Day.” There was a podium in the ring. Fans sang, “Oh, scissor me, daddy!” to the tune of Keith Lee’s song. (I’m sure he just loves this.) Fans had big cardboard scissors in the crowd and sheets of paper with Scissor Me written on it. Anthony Bowens said it’s a special night and it’s brought to everyone by the most popular team in pro wrestling and the best damn home-grown team in AEW history. Caster said the Scissor Me Daddy Ass is the no. 1 selling t-shirt in 2022. He said most importantly, they brought home gold. They held up their AEW Tag Team Title belts. Bowens said AEW now stands for “Acclaimed Every Wednesday.” Excalibur quipped, “We’ll have to update the logo.” Bowens said it’s cause for celebration. He said they celebrate by scissoring and he knows a thing or two about scissoring. He said he is the Sultan of Scissor.
He said to those tuning in for the first time because National Scissoring Day was trending all day long, he said scissoring is a special handshake and a sign of friendship and a true team. He said they understand that the people want to be represented by a true team, not two dudes who were thrown together like Keith Lee and Sneaky Swerve. Fans booed the mention of their names. He yelled that, “Everyone loves the Acclaimed!” He said this isn’t Swerve’s house. Billy stepped in, veins and biceps bulging. He said for everybody in the building the millions and millions at home, it’s National Scissoring Day. He said he was sent down to city hall earlier and asked if he would present them with something. He lifted up a gold wrapped gift and it was a giant golden scissors. They cut to fans popping. Bowens ran around the ring with scissors. Billy told him, “No running with scissors.” Schiavone said, “This is so much fun. It really is.”
Caster asked everybody to offer a sign of peace to their neighbor via scissoring. Fans began scissoring each other. Caster said as National Scissoring Day comes to a close, he wants to talk about greatness. He said about 40 years ago in D.C., greatness was achieved when Washington won the Super Bowl. He said he wasn’t even born yet, but it means a lot to him because his dad was on that championship team. He said his Super Bowl ring is his prized possession. He said they have achieved greatness also by winning the AEW Tag Team Titles. He said this city also represents division in the U.S., but they can agree that everyone loves The Acclaimed. He said today there is no left or right, no red or blue. He said they wear pink and everyone looks good in pink. He called for a bipartisan scissors. As the three of them were about to scissor each other, Swerve interrupted.
Swerve said that was the most idiotic thing he’s ever seen. Swerve talked about kids getting suspended in school for wearing the Scissors Me t-shirts Swerve said if it weren’t for Billy, they’d still be tag champs. (Sadly, that might be true.) Swerve said in Toronto next week, he wants to face Billy one-on-one. He told him not to put those two fingers in his face because, if he does, he won’t ever do it again. He pulled out a rock and said, “As everybody knows, rock beats scissors every day.”
Mark Sterling marched out and said he’s been saying for months that Swerve is a jerk, and no one has been listening. He entered the ring and told The Acclaimed that they need him. He offered to represent them against Swerve “and give these people what they want, which is you three scissoring me.” Billy bodyslammed Sterling. Bowens then landed a legdrop to Sterling’s inner thigh. Billy accepted Swerve’s challenge “gladly.” He said he can leave now, because they have one more thing to do. They resumed scissoring mid-ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Schiavone was right. That was a lot of fun. It was Bowens best mic work to date. He was confident and came across like a leader. Caster continues to have an intangible quality that can make him a bigger star in AEW over the next couple of years, and his lack of WWE or New Japan acclaim shouldn’t stop AEW from looking at him as someone to keep elevating. But right now, The Acclaimed appears to be a hot act worth featuring weekly with solid booking for months to come.)
-A vignette aired with Dark Order saying they want to win the AEW Trios Titles on the anniversary date of Brodie Lee’s last match. There was also a soundbite with Death Triangle. The match takes place on Rampage on Friday. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Madison Rayne and Skye Blue. Rayne endorsed Blue. Tay Melo and Anna Jay walked in and said she could use a personality coach so she has more charisma. Blue said for once they might be right. She said she could work on her charisma, but they could work on their wrestling. She challenged them to a tag match on Rampage on Friday.
(5) RUSH (w/Jose the Assistant) vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
After some brawling at ringside, with Rush getting the better of Hangman, they cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Hangman made a comeback and kipped up and showed fire. They cut to MJF watching backstage, clutching the poker chip. Hangman hit a springboard clothesline and then a sling-shot bodypress onto Rush at ringside. A few minutes later, Hangman set up a Buckshot Lariat as fans chanted “Cowboy Shit!” Jose slowed him down by yanking on his leg. Rush then countered Hangman’s attempt at the Buckshot with a headbutt and a knee. He then landed a leaping straight jacket piledriver. Rush’s nose was bleeding. He licked the blood, then charged at Hangman. Hangman clotheslined him and then hit the Buckshot Lariat for the win.
WINNER: Hangman in 9:00.
-After the match, Private Party walked to the ring. Jon Moxley made his way through the crowd and shook his head no. Excalibur wondered what Mox was thinking. Justin Roberts handed Mox a mic. Mox entered the ring and circled around Hangman. They had a staredown. Mox said he’s been waiting three years for this. He said he’s been studying Hangman because he knew this was coming. He said between the two of them, they’ve defeated just about everyone there is to beat in AEW except each other. He said on Oct. 18 in Cincinnati, they’ll wrestle. He said he used to smoke and drink under the bridge outside that arena when he was growing up. He said only one of them will be left standing after their match. He said in 13 days, he’ll leave his match and show up at the arena and “I’m gonna break your face and I’m going to choke you until you turn blue because you’re in the way of me being the one true top guy in AEW and the World Champion and the Best in the World.” He said he has all the respect in the world for Hangman and he respects him as a person, but once the bell rings, he doesn’t have respect for anything.
Mox turned to leave. Hangman said if he’s been waiting so long, where’s he going right now. Mox returned to the ring and picked up the mic. Fans chanted, “Cowboy Shit!” Mox said he’s a sweet kid and like a lot of kids, he says shit that gets him in trouble. He said he’ll let him off the hook this time, but this is his final warning to watch his mouth. He dropped the mic and left. They showed MJF smiling backstage as he watched this play out on the monitor.
(Keller’s Analysis: As often is the case these days in AEW, Moxley was the highlight. Hangman was really good here too.)
-Schiavone interviewed Willow who continued to be elated about her win. She said she is so stoked. She said she wants a TBS Title match at Battle of the Belts. Jade Cargill said she’s defeated her twice before and she’ll just be 39. Willow said maybe, but maybe Jade will end up 38-1 “and I’ll be the one.”
(6) LUCHASAURUS (w/Christian Cage) vs. FUEGO DEL SOL
Luchasaurus won with a single move, his Cut Throat.
WINNER: Luchasaurus in under 1:00.
-As Luchasaurus set up a powerbomb of Fuego over the top rope, Jungle Boy made the save with a chair. JB yelled that Luchasaurus was his best friend, and after everything they’ve been through together, he chose Christian instead “and you broke my heart.” He said now he is going to break his finger and break his nose and break his arm and break him piece by miserable piece “until I break you.” He told him to pick the place and he’ll be there. Christian said he warned him not to return or they’d leave him in a pool of his own piss and blood. He said they’re in D.C. and apparently he’s the only honest person in D.C. because “this match won’t be happening in this cesspool in front of these losers.” He said it’ll happen next week on Dynamite in his hometown, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fans booed.
(Keller’s Analysis: The “you broke my heart” line could have been so corny and melodramatic and flopped, but it worked because it pulled from the dynamic fans have observed between them for the last three years. I think he probably went to far with the body parts he planned to break. This was one of his better interviews in the Christian feud and shows there’s promise. He’s actually someone who’d benefit a lot form a veteran top shelf promo person working with him on edits.)
-Excalibur hyped the Rampage line-up: Death Triangle vs. Dark Order for the Trios Titles, Varsity Blondes vs. Tony Nese & Josh Woods (w/Sterling), Blue & Rayne vs. Melo & Jay, and Moxley & Claudio Castignoli & Yuta vs. Rush & Private Party. Then Battle of the Belts IV featuring Jade vs. Willow for the TBS Title, FTR vs. Gates of Agony, and Pac vs. Trent Beretta. Soundbites aired for the Pac vs. Beretta match. Then next week’s Dynamite features Billy Gunn vs. Swerve, Jericho vs. Danielson, and JB vs. Luchasaurus.
(Keller’s Analysis: There has got to be a better way to hype future shows than this. It’s just a bombardment of info and it becomes just a blur by the end.) [c]
(7) DANIEL GARCIA & BRYAN DANIELSON vs. CHRIS JERICHO & SAMMY GUEVARA
Ring entrances aired for everyone.
Jericho and Garcia squared off and exchanged chops. They cut to a split-screen break a couple minutes in. [c/ss]
They went back to an extended stretch with Garcia and Jericho battling. A fan held up a sign that said, “Hire HR Expert.” The same fan, I think, also held up a “Sammy Dramara” sign. When Garcia rallied against Garcia, fans chanted, “You still suck!” Garcia came back with a piledriver for a near fall. Jericho yanked his leg to break the cover. Danielson landed a flying kneestrike. Garcia absorbed a Guevara kick and clotheslined him. Jericho, meanwhile, suplexed Danielson over the ringside table. Fans chanted “Gar-ci-a!” Guevara hit Garcia with GTS. The knee hit Garcia’s skull flush. Guevara leaped off the top rope with a shooting star press, but Garcia raised his knees. Garcia then applied a Dragon Slayer. Garcia shifted toward the ropes, which felt conspicuous, and then Jericho hit him with the ROH Title belt. That broke the hold. Guevara then covered Garcia for the win. Ian Ricabonni said, “This isn’t the Ring of Honor I remember.” Excalibur said Jericho vowed to sully the name of ROH all in pursuit of sports entertainment. Tay and Sammy made out as Garcia and Danielson soaked up the loss.
WINNER: Guevara & Jericho in 17:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Kind of a downer of a finish to the anniversary show, but it fits the storyline of Jericho disgracing the ROH legacy. Garcia is so good.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This didn’t feel like an anniversary show, but if it was a theme show at all, it was more like an ROH Anniversary Show. David Bryant sent me a tally of mentions of ROH vs. AEW in AEW’s 3rd Anniversary Show. (Thanks to him for putting in the work to count these up!) ROH was mentioned 58 times compared to AEW 43 times. Code of Honor was mentioned 8 times, too, which moves ROH in a way up to 64 mentions. There’s no justification for this unless Tony Khan is fearful he’s going to lose rights to the name AEW or wants to change the name of the company to Ring of Honor. His current million-plus cable viewership base that’s the key and core to his revenue in almost every area from PPV buys to merch not to mention getting a better next TV deal are not enamored with ROH with rare exception. Even people who watched ROH have moved on and want to love the current new great thing, AEW. Unfortunately, this drab atmosphere compared to three years ago, the shoddy booking and amateur-hour execution of so many aspects of the show don’t make AEW seem like the hot new thing anymore. This would have been a good week for a refresh visually, too, with a new opening theme, a new entrance set, a higher budget look for the ring (WWE smokes AEW in this record and makes AEW look too much like WCW syndicated tapings for World Wide Wrestling back in the early 1990s at this point), and some additional production upgrades. It also really stood out that the founders – The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes, in particular, but Kenny Omega too – were not here. Image if this show featured Malikai Black, Miro, the Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes, and C.M. Punk also? AEW is on a run of five out of six shows averaging more than 1 million viewers, and only broke the streak last week due to hurricane coverage. This was a week to build on the core loyal fan base they have and show them they have real momentum going into year four. This show didn’t convey that. I can only imagine where viewership would be if they were focused on AEW instead of ROH and had a fresher look to the show and better booking and execution given the talent that still remains the fan loyalty built up over the last three-plus years to this alternative vision to WWE.
Tyler Sage joined me for a two-plus hour live Dynamite post-show with live callers throughout. Check it out. Search “Wade Keller” in your podcast app and subscribe to the red logo for our post-show feed.