Daily’s Place - Jacksonville, FL
Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone
1) Christian Cage vs. Frankie Kazarian
Huge way to kick off the broadcast tonight with Christian’s first match back. I was fairly excited for this, but can honestly say it exceeded expectations. It went almost 20 minutes, nearly reaching a time limit draw. I think it did wonders for the story of Christian having to get back in the groove of things, just for him to ultimately prove he’s still got it. Kaz hit an insane flux capacitor for an awesome near fall. Seeing Christian take that made me gasp. This was a real intense hard fought match. Christian wins with the kill switch.
Match rating - ***1/2
Darby Allin video package on Matt Hardy. It shows Darby & Sting walking and it’s pretty great. Darby says money doesn’t mean shit to him and Matt is going to have to earn his respect the hard way.
Jade Cargill pre tape promo. She talks down on Red Velvet and says she will never be her because nobody could ever because “I AM THAT BITCH”
2) Cody Rhodes (w/ Dustin Rhodes & Billy Gunn) vs. QT Marshall
This really is all about the angle that happens, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves I guess. This is an exhibition because QT Marshall wants to prove himself as he’s been acting kinda dickish but says it’s just because he doesn’t wanna be in Cody’s shadow anymore, but it isn’t personal or so he says. It’s a nice premise and is presented well with other members of the Nightmare Factory at ringside. It has a different vibe and feels exactly like what it was billed as. After 8-9 minutes of working holds, running ropes and basic stuff, QT hits Arn Anderson out of nowhere. Cody and everyone scurry to check on him until Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solow, & Anthony Ogogo turn on Cody, Lee Johnson, Dustin and them. QT turns around smiling and they powerbomb Lee Johnson on the stage, bust open Dustin Rhodes, and piledrive him on the steel steps. Pretty awesome fucking beat down honestly. They go to smash Cody’s head with a chair on the steps, but RED VELVET with the star making hero save. She covers Cody and talks QT out of doing it. Sooooo, yeah. All jokes about AEW having too many damn stables aside, this on its own is pretty cool. It’s giving a lot of young guys something to do who don’t have anything going except regular appearances on Dark which is always a plus and the execution was fantastic and left us with a moment we will definitely remember in the future, even if we all have our doubts about how far this can go with QT Marshall as the leader.
Back from commercial, replays show of what just happened. Red Velvet is getting interviewed about her saving Cody when JADE CARGILL ATTACKS OMFG YES. Tonight rules.
3) Jon Moxley vs. Cezar Bononi
Mox cuts a promo pre match backstage or something earlier in the day about everything that’s been going on. This is obviously looked at as a squash, but it’s miles better than the Mox/Nemeth one from earlier this year and Bononi I truly believe comes out of this looking better than when he want in. Some great exchanges with Mox here and it made me be totally okay with seeing more of him on Dynamite. Mox wins despite some interference from Nick Nemeth and JD Drake as he chokes out Bononi.
Match rating - **1/2
The Pinnacle are in the Inner Circle’s old locker room when they open the door and Jericho and the boys aRE HERE. They proceed to have a sick ass brawl through the locker room/parking lot/outside the arena. One of the FTR boys gets busted open with some glass the hard way and this whole thing was just what this story needed. Brutal, awesome brawl with the Inner Circle looking better than they have in a long time, even Jericho popped me here.
Don Callis interrupts a Young Bucks interview backstage. Nick walks off and Don singles out Matt trying to get a reaction out of him. He says he broke Kenny’s heart, brings up the Bucks’ dad, and then SLAPS MATT. Matt grabs his shirt, but doesn’t strike Don. Don taunts him even more afterward because he didn’t have the gall to hit him back. Fantastic performance from both guys here, this was a really well done segment.
4) Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers (Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows) vs. Rey Fenix, Penta El Cero M, & Laredo Kid
Another awesome trios match from the Lucha Bros & Laredo Kid. I honestly probably liked it more than last week as this was just the insane spot fest you’d expect from these two teams. It starts with a bang as the Lucha trio attack the rudos during the entrance with an array of insane moves and continue this explosive offensive charge for the next minute or two. Soon, we settle into the face in peril segment as the Omega/Good Brothers trio isolate Laredo Kid. Hot tag time comes and shit breaks down again. Laredo spikes, and I mean SPIKES Kenny with a michinoku driver and I squealed. Omega fights back though and pins Laredo Kid with the one winged angel.
Match rating - ****
Post match, Jon Moxley walks out on the stage and stares down Omega, Anderson & Gallows. He’s outnumbered, but still seems willing to fight until The Young Bucks join his side to even the odds! Ahhhh!! The three go after Omega & the Good Brothers, but they retreat. These two teams will meet in trios action next week and I cannot wait.
5) Nyla Rose & Allie/The Bunny vs. Hikaru Shida & Tay Conti
Loads of fun here. Maybe just because I’m super into the women’s division right now or because it’s Allie’s first actual match in AEW, but it was a blast. Tay Conti dives onto the whole pile of the Dark Order boys, but it and Vickie Guerrero just distract the ref long enough for The Bunny to use a kendo stick on Tay for the pinfall.
Match rating - **3/4
6) Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy vs. Miro & Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford) - Arcade Anarchy Match
Before this match, I pondered if we could get another classic Chuckie T TV plunder match and BAH GAWD WE DID. This was the perfect light hearted, back to basics hardcore TV main event. Chuck, Orange, & Trent really encapsulate such a special niche that not many other people can replicate. They can be taken seriously, while simultaneously being comedic / jokey characters. It’s quite impressive. Miro looked like a monster here tossing Orange around all match and hell, even Kip looked good as he got to show out a bit with some nice high flying moves and kicks. The returns of Kris Statlander and Trent respectively just added to the excitement of this all around thrilling, and fun main event. The way both were booked couldn't have been more perfect. Chuck pins Kip after a power slam off the stage through a bunch of tables and shit. And oh yeah, Trent speared Miro through a table after Miro tried to attack Trent’s mom’s minivan. This ruled.
Match rating - ****
Final thoughts: I was genuinely so high on everything on this show. This was another one of those episodes that made me realize how much I truly love AEW. There wasn't a single segment or match that didn't have my attention or excite/entertain me in some ways. There weren't any MUST SEE FiVe sTaR matches, but everything was more than worth my time. Just a blast of a two hour TV show. Sure, AEW has a dull show every now and again, but 50-75% of the time, it's shows like this that just check all the boxes. Despite not having that one must-see match, I think this could rank in the Top 10 Best Dynamite's of all time as the consistency across the board could rival almost any other episode, if I'm being honest. Just awesome stuff all the way around and I can't wait for next week!