July 14th, 2021
Cedar Park, Texas
AEW World Champion: Kenny Omega (since 12/2/20)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks (since 11/7/20)
AEW TNT Champion: Miro (since 5/12/21)
AEW Women's Champion: Britt Baker (since 5/30/21)
Commentators - Excalibur, Jim Ross, & Tony Schiavone
The best day of the week for wrestling fans is here and it's time for WEDNESDAY NIGHT DYNAMITE BABY.
1) Jon Moxley (c) (w/ Eddie Kingston) vs. Karl Anderson (w/ Doc Gallows) - IWGP US Heavyweight Title Match
What a fucking way to kick off this sold out show with the return of Jon Moxley. As soon as 'Wild Thing' started playing this place lit up. They were already going nuts in the opening, but things immediately went to a new level when Mox accompanied by Kingston made their way to the ring through the crowd. Kingston attacks Gallows with a pipe as the bell rings to go ahead and take care of any potential interference. They fight through the crowd and this thing gets going. STIFF elbows are thrown in the opening minutes and it rules. They fight around ringside, this just felt like an old school brawl. Excalibur notes that this is being contested under NJPW rules which includes a 60 min time limit and a 20 count on the outside. These two really just throw it all out there for like 10 minutes and it rocks. Mox eats a piledriver varation (that spiked him terribly) and two gun stuns, but still kicks out. He wins with the DDT to retain the IWGP US Title and break the record for most defenses of the title.
Match rating - ***1/2
After the match, cameras cut to Lance Archer backstage. He wants a rematch with Moxley for the IWGP US Title and he wants it next week!! AND HE WANTS IT AS A TEXAS DEATH MATCH. IN DALLAS TEXAS. AH FUCK. This is gonna be so sick.
Back from commercial, Alex Abrahantes is with Andrade El Idolo. Andrade asks where the Death Triangle is. He tells Abrahantes to let them know he's looking for them.
2) Brian Cage (c) vs. Ricky Starks - FTW Title Match
Starks is back from injury and ready to rock n roll. Hook & Hobbs are at ringside. This starts a little slow and slightly rocky, but turns into one hell of a match. The crowd is super hot for Ricky and once things pick up they hang on every move. Starks tries to use the title belt after Cage kicks out of a sitout powerbomb. Hobbs won't let him. Cage F5000's Starks AND STARKS KICKS OUT TO A HUGE OVATION. CAGE GETS SENT INTO THE ROPES AND HOBBS BRAINS HIM WITH THE BELT. OMG. STARKS HITS THE SPEAR AND 1..2..3..!!!! Huge pop from the crowd as Starks celebrates with Hook, Hobbs, and Taz. Did we just see Cage screwed and booted from Team Taz?!
Match rating - ***
Replays are shown of Malakai Black's debut last week and Cody Rhodes walks out onto the stage pissed. He grabs a headset from the commentary table and yells about how Black could have just called. He says here, we don't kick a 62 year old man in the head and leave him unable to move. Cody then grabs a mic and hits the ring with more of this fiery babyface promo saying he wants to fight and all that shit. Black comes up on the screen and the vibe & setting of his promo is so cool. I suck at describing so just go watch it. Black says he saw nothing when he looked in the eyes of Cody last week. Cody yells for Black to come down and take another look. Black says “I was hoping you’d say that.” And the lights go out. SO EPIC. What follows is a sick pull apart brawl that felt a lot more real than I anticipated with Black showing real intensity in trying to lay in shots on Cody. Security pulls them apart, but man I AM FIRED UP.
Santana & Ortiz catch Tully Blanchard backstage and act like they’re gonna beat his ass, but don’t. They just wanted to shake him up a bit and warn that next time, it won’t be a joke, they’ll actually do it.
Hangman Page is out next with Tony Schiavone and we proceed to get another amazing segment for the second week in a row. They speeded along in this program a little quicker than I expected with Page admitting he's been running from the fear of failure and saying he's here to challenge Kenny Omega for the World Title. Omega, Callis, The Bucks, & Gallows come out. I hate to get so granular and.. sappy. But I hate play by play on promos in reviews. And truly, there's so much to unpack here. The Elite comes out and they're clearly here to break down Page's confidence boost that he's seemed to have found because they know they can. To me, it's akin to you leaving a group of old friends behind and finally getting the chance to start new at a new job in a new town, only for them to come in the store or restaurant on your first day of work. They tell Page he can't be champion. Matt Jackson gets in the ring and gets in Page's face saying "you remember me?" and taunts him and says he left The Elite high and dry for a bunch of losers and now he's just a lonely cowboy. Matt says Page is the next wrestling tragedy and that he doesn't have the balls to hit him AND PAGE CLOCKS HIM HOLY HELL. Hell breaks loose and Omega sneaks in behind for a title shot to the head, but THE DARK ORDER SHOWS UP AND I ALMOST START TEARING UP. HANGMAN HAS FRIENDS GOD DAMMIT. It's honestly heart warming. Basically what happens next is a 5 on 5 Elimination Match is set up between The Elite and Hangman & Dark Order. If Page and the Dark Order win, they all get title shots, but if they lose, they don't and Hangman doesn't get his World Title shot despite being ranked #1. This just felt so big league. Having crowds back helps these shows tremendously and makes Page, Omega, and everyone else feel like true mainstream american wrestling stars. A TV WRESTLING PROMO/SEGMENT I'M INVESTED IN WHOLEHEARTEDLY??? Is it Monday Night Raw in 2013-early 14??? This was just more great stuff in this feud that I am fully fucking invested in and hope to see culminate live & in person in Chicago at All Out in September! I also have to mention how refreshing it was to see a match set up like this mid-show. It felt super fresh considering AEW announces literally everything that happens on Dynamite with graphics and tweets 99% of the time with no natural development. This makes things feel so much more.. real and not.. booked. If that makes sense.
Back from commercial, Chris Jericho is talking and gets attacked backstage by Shawn Spears & MJF. Jericho faces Spears one on one next week.
3) Christian Cage vs. Matt Hardy
Someone on Twitter said it best - I enjoy seeing Christian & Hardy in AEW, but I am not at all interested in seeing them wrestle each other. With that in mind, though, this was still suffice enough to not bring this show down from all time status. The story is deep rooted and they did a good job of trying to get people fired up about it in the “Road To” video package. The crowd is hot for Christian which helps this as well. They wrestle a super smart match that didn’t bore me to sleep like expected so that’s a victory in itself because this was the only thing on this show I had minimal interest in. I liked the near fall at the end where it looked like Hardy was gonna win off a low blow, but Christian kicked out. The crowd in attendance bit on it and so did I. A moment or two later, Christian wins with the killswitch.
Match rating - **1/2
After the match, Private Party and TH2 circle the ring. Jungle Boy runs down to a MASSIVE pop followed by Luchasaurus for the save. Luchasaurus lifts Christian up on his shoulders and Jungle Boy seems a little jealous. Uh ohhhhh. I smell something brewing.
Tony Schiavone brings out AEW Women's World Champion Britt Baker. She cuts an ace promo as usual. She says Nyla may be at the top of the food chain, but she is off the menu because she's special order. GO OFFFFF!! She says Nyla needs the title to stay relevant and to hold any significance in AEW. Britt says the title belongs to her, but even without it she'd still be DR BRITT BAKER. D M D. HARD. Rose & Vickie yell some shit backstage afterwards as Britt poses in the ring with her music playing. Blah.
Jon Moxley accepts Archer's Texas Death Match challenge for the IWGP US Title for next week. Mox says Archer is Texas bred and next week he will be Texas DEAD.
4) Sammy Guevara vs. Wheeler Yuta (w/ Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy)
This is Yuta’s Dynamite debut and it seems he’s officially a member of the Best Friends now. Guevara gets a great reaction that almost overshadows Yuta, I feel. Yuta got some nice stuff in here though that I think would have sold him to some new eyes. Guevara gets the win when all is said and done after a fun little match. We also saw The Blade & The Bunny sitting in the crowd during this. Orange faces The Blade next week.
Match rating - **1/4
Earlier today, QT Marshall poured a drink on Tony Schiavone’s head when he tried to interview him.
5) Yuka Sakazaki vs. Penelope Ford
So happy Yuka Sakazaki is back. Multiple loud “Lets go Yuka” chants here and deservingly so. Yuka shows out with a number of awesome spots here. Penelope continues to show improvement every time she’s in the ring and this was another display of that. We missed some good stuff in the commercial break including a rough german from Ford to Sakazaki. Yuka wins with the magical girl splash! Love that move.
Match rating - **1/2
6) Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page - Coffin Match
All the bad blood between these two comes to a head to cap off one of the best Dynamites of all time. Darby shows up with a steel plate strapped to his back and hits a coffin drop on Page right out of the gate which completely set the tone for this match. The first big moment of the match sees Scorpio Sky pop out of the coffin and try to attack Darby only for Sting to show up and brawl with Sky through the crowd including going for a damn stinger splash out there that the cameras barely caught. Sting missed it and Sky goes for a dive but gets crotched on the railing instead. Back in the ring, well.. sorta. Page & Darby end up fighting toward the crowd as well. This had such an awesome atmosphere, by the way. Darby goes for a dive off the balcony, but Page catches him. Page really gave Darby a beating here. An Ego’s Edge onto the top of two stacked steel steps made me wince as it happened. Page and Darby battling in the coffin while Page slapped Darby hard as fuck repeatedly while talking shit was so hard to watch. This was just vicious through and through. In the end, Darby hits a double stomp on Page’s back with a skateboard to send him into the coffin and close the lid. This seals the victory for Darby, but he decides to FUCKING COFFIN DROP THROUGH THE COFFIN OFF TJE TOP ROPE FOR GOOD MEASURE. WOW. Another spectacle from Darby and Page looked like a madman as well. Great stuff all around.
Match rating - ****