AEW Dynamite opened up with a recap of the feud between Cody & Red Velvet vs. Shaq & Jade Cargill, then jumped right into the action.
Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet w/ Arn Anderson vs. Shaq & Jade Cargill
Shaq started the match with Cody, and they used a classic big man vs. small man formula here, with Cody chopping Shaq, but Shaq no selling it and chopping Cody and hitting a back body drop. Jade tagged in and started wrestling with Red Velvet. Both women are green, especially Jade, but the kept it quite simple for the sake of hiding weaknesses.
Velvet hit a great crossbody off the top rope on Jade, but Jade rolled through and hit a fallaway slam. Jade slapped Cody, so Cody came into the ring and charged Shaq. Shaq fell to the floor and took out Billy Gunn’s kids, in the biggest babyface move I’ve seen in years. The crowd went nuts for it. Red Velvet hit a moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the floor on Jade (though Cody was there to help catch her too).
I have to give them credit, they are doing a good job hiding the weaknesses of everyone involved, and you can tell Cody is the veteran keeping it together for everyone, making sure he’s in the right place to help everyone with their spots (like catching Red Velvet earlier). Jade and Velvet set up some tables on the outside and tagged back out to Shaq and Cody.
Shaq killed Cody with a powerbomb that actually looked awesome. Cody slammed Shaq and both men tagged out. Cody ran at the ropes and jumped over the top rope and hit Shaq with a crossbody, driving both men through the tables. Shaq took a huge bump. Red Velvet hit a spear on Jade Cargill, but she kicked out, blocked a punch, and hit a double chickenwing facebuster for the pinfall.
Result: Shaq & Jade Cargill
Rating: ** (2 stars)
This had no business being as good as it was, but it was laid out quite well. Cody did a really good job making sure everyone kept the pace of the match in mind, and he bumped like crazy for Shaq. Shaq taking that table bump was unexpected, but it was a really cool spot. Jade and Red Velvet have a ton of potential. Was this a classic match? No. It was memorable and mostly fine though.
The Death Triangle (Rey Fenix & PAC) vs. John Skyler & D3
Fenix and PAC wasted no time at all, crushing this tag team with various high flying moves before Fenix hit Skyler with Fenix Driver for the pinfall.
Result: The Death Triangle
MJF & Chris Jericho promised a press conference about their actions last week, taking out Papa Buck. The first reporter from Barstool (sigh) came up and asked what the tag titles meant to Chris Jericho, but we didn’t hear it, as they didn’t have the mic setup properly. Jericho rightfully repeated the question so we knew what was happening, and he talked about how he was a seven time world tag team champion and wanted to be one again.
Conrad Thompson came up and asked if they would let Sammy Guevara back into the Inner Circle. Jericho and MJF buried Conrad and he walked away. Another Barstool sports guy came up and asked about what they did to Papa Buck. MJF said Papa Buck attacked them first, and that MJF had to clean his blood out of his suit, which was way more offensive. Santana and Ortiz admitted it was their idea to attack Papa Buck, and Santana said that there wasn’t a line that the Inner Circle would cross.
Eric Bischoff came up and asked about the condition of Papa Buck, and if he realized how stupid it was to make the Young Bucks come at him with fury. Jericho was about to respond, and the Young Bucks came out, saying that the Inner Circle made this personal. They talked about how their dad raised them to have faith, family, and love, and raised them to be empathetic towards others, unlike the fathers of Jericho and MJF.
This segment was no good until the Bucks came out, and the intensity came up. Matt Jackson said that if it wasn’t for how their dad raised them, AEW might not exist and MJF would be unemployed and trying to live off his fame from the Rosie O’Donnell show, and that Jericho would be curtain jerking at the performance center.
They attacked Jericho and MJF, and Brandon Cutler came out and joined the fight. The Good Brothers brought tables out onto the stage and set them up. Nick Jackson climbed the entrance tunnel, jumped through one table, and Matt Jackson jumped off the stage through the other table onto as both bucks took out Santana and Ortiz. Spectacular finish to this angle that started very poorly.
A hype video aired about the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match featuring Onita talking about his own history with the match, as he invented it, and it showed clips of his various deathmatches throughout his career. This was a much needed video for an introduction to what the match is, and its history, putting what AEW is doing into historical context of other Exploding Barbed Wire Death Matches.
The Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, & Marko Stunt) vs. FTR (Dax Hardwood & Cash Wheeler) & Tully Blanchard w/ JJ Dillion
Tully started the match by striking Marko Stunt, but it wasn’t long before Jungle Boy got in their with FTR and ran wild, suplexing and throwing FTR around before loking on the Snare Trap on Hardwood, but Cash pulled him to the floor. JJ Dillion threw a shoe to Cash, who leveled Jungle Boy with it, but he kicked out at 2.
Tully faked a dive to the floor and strutted like it was the old days, as Dax pulled up a mat and slammed Jungle Boy on the concrete floor. Cash got the heat on Jungle Boy for the next few minutes. He managed to tag out to Luchasaurus, who ran wild, hitting suplexes on everyone. FTR hit a superplex/splash combo on Jungle Boy that Marko broke up. Tully ended up hitting a picture perfect slingshot suplex on Marko Stunt.
As Jungle Boy went for a dive to the floor a masked man got in the way to save FTR. He also attacked Luchasaurus, leading to a spike piledriver that saw Tully Blanchard get the pinfall over Luchasaurus.
Result: FTR & Tully Blanchard
Rating: *** (3 stars)
The man unmasked, and it was Shawn Spears, reuniting with Tully, and joining FTR. JJ Dillion, Tully, FTR, and Spears all posed as Arn Anderson walked out of the entry way and held up 4 fingers. Dillion held up 4 fingers as well.
Nyla Rose w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Ryo Mizunami
This match started fast, with an exchange of hard forearms, with Rose dropping Mizunami with a shoulder tackle. Mizunami managed to hit a series of machine gun chops that would make Satoshi Kojima proud, and showing a ton of charisma in the process. The crowd responded by cheering, but Nyla hit a big boot and started to get the heat.
Nyla hit a tilt-a-whirl powerslam for a 2 count. Nyla got the heat throughout the ad break, attacking on the outside and using a camel clutch to wear Mizunami down. When they came back from the break, Nyla missed a senton bomb and Mizunami tried to get psyched up for a comeback. Mizunami low bridged Nyla and went to the floor and went for a suplex, but Nyla blocked it.
Mizunami swept Nyla’s leg, and Nyla fell face first onto the apron. Mizunami hit a guillotine legdrop on Rose, repeating what happened with Aja Kong, but Nyla made it into the ring before the countout. Mizunami hit another guillotine legdrop for a 2 count. Rose and Mizunami exchanged a series of hard clotheslines, blocking one of Nyla’s before hitting the ropes. Mizunami ate a Death Valley Driver, but kicked out.
Rose put Mizunami on the top rope and hit a flying knee drop for a 2 count. Mizunami managed to hit an exploder suplex and went to the top rope, but Nyla got up and hit a superplex. Mizunami hit a German suplex and a spear on Nyla before going back to the top rope and hitting a third guillotine legdrop on Rose for the pinfall victory.
Result: Ryo Mizunami
Rating: ***1/2 (3.5 stars)
Hikaru Shida came into the ring to award Ryo Mizunami with the trophy for the tournament before offering a handshake. Mizunami hit a forearm on Shida, smiled, and told Shida to hit one. Shida obliged, and both of them exchanged forearms, ending with a huge smile on Mizunami’s face.
Sting came out and thanked Brian Cage for powerbombing him a few weeks ago as it revealed that he wasn’t ready for his match quite yet, but he took that learning experience and decided to step his game up. He promised that last week proved he was now ready for a fight, and that Cage and Starks had no idea what was coming.
Starks came out and said that he could admit that Sting still got it, but he wouldn’t recognize Sting as the Icon, and slapped him. Sting ran wild, beating up Starks and locking on the Scorpion Deathlock. Hook and Hobbs ran out and tried to save Starks, but Sting fought them both off before finally being dropped by Cage. Cage went to powerbomb him again, but Darby Allin ran in and made the save, hitting a missile dropkick on Cage. Sting looked incredible in this segment.
Preston “10” Vance w/ -1 vs. Max Caster – The Winner Advances to the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match
Caster came out rapping about 10 and -1, and -1 tried to fight Caster. They announced -1 as the leader of the Dark Order, which is only right. It made my day seeing him cheer 10 on. This match was very basic, but they gave both men a chance to try with a match that got some time. I will never complain about allowing young wrestlers being given a chance, even if it isn’t the best match.
10 managed to hit a cutter on Caster, and then a series of clotheslines. As 10 went towards the ropes, Jack Evans nailed 10 with the boombox, giving Max Caster the pinfall victory.
Result: Max Caster
Rating: ** (2 stars)
This was a perfectly fine match. It wasn’t great, but it highlighted both men well enough. Matt Hardy handed Jack Evans $4200 on his way out, keeping his promise to take out the members of the Dark Order as payback against Adam Page.
Hangman Page & John Silver w/ -1 & and the Dark Order vs. Matt Hardy and Marq Quen
It wasn’t too long into the match before they went to break here, but Hangman and Silver managed to just stay on top of the offence for most of it. Hardy hit a side effect on the apron on Silver to start getting the heat. Quen and Hardy made for a classic heel team here, working over Silver with their size and strength, which is a nice change for Quen. He’s learning fast to add more to his game, and working with Hardy is clearly paying off.
Silver managed to hit a Destino on Hardy before tagging out to Page, who ran wild over Quen. Quen hit Page in the knee, but missed Page with another attack, and took out Matt Hardy. Hangman hit the fallaway slam on Quen and then a tope on Matt Hardy, but got cut off by Quen as he came back into the ring. Quen hit the ropes and jumped at Page, but Page hit a Death Valley Driver, threw Quen into the corner, and the demanded that Matt Hardy tagged in.
Quen got rolled back in by Hardy, and he managed to hit another dropkick to Pages knee, before Hardy then demanded to be tagged in. Hardy called for the Twist of Fate, but Page hit a back suplex and low bridged Quen before letting Silver tag in and hit a spear on Matt Hardy. Silver ran wild, with a great hot tag on Hardy here, ending with a brainsbuster and a 2 count.
Page and Silver hit a series of double team moves on Quen before Page hit a huge Buckshot Lariat for the pinfall.
Result: Hangman Page & John Silver
Rating: **3/4 (2.75 stars)
This was a perfectly fine match that highlighted the growing friendship of Hangman Page and the Dark Order. Page looked like a legit main event star in this match. It wasn’t anything special, but everything Page did looked great. After the match, Matt Hardy attacked Page with a microphone and told him that he was going to take everything he loved, and all his friends with him.
The entire Dark Order ran out to help Page, attacking Hardy, which led to all the heel tag teams running down and attacking the Dark Order. The show went off the air with everyone in the Casino Tag Team Battle Royale brawling all over the ring.
Show Rating: **** (4 stars)
This was a very good go home show for AEW, as the advanced all the major angles heading into the PPV and made it clear why each and every match was happening. They actively made a new star in Ryo Mizunami, and continued to make Jungle Boy look like a main eventer in waiting, plus had all the nostalgia of the NWA in all the right ways, while adding modern twists to it all. This was a very good episode of AEW Dynamite.