Sunday, April 16, 2023

AEW: Dynamite Review - April 12th, 2023

AEW Dynamite
April 12th, 2023 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

AEW World Champion: MJF (since 11/19/22)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: FTR (since 4/5/23)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Jamie Hayter (since 11/19/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Powerhouse Hobbs (since 3/8/23)
AEW International Champion: Orange Cassidy (since 10/12/22)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)

Commentators - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Taz

1) Swerve Strickland vs. Darby Allin 

Any time these two lock up, it’s a blast. It’s their second meeting in AEW, with their first coming almost an exact year prior to this on the 27th of April last year. That match was in the Owen Hart Memorial Tournament. This was a lot more fun than their match last year. That one wasn’t bad by any means, this just had some extra juice to it with Swerve being fairly fresh off his heel turn. Plus, they threw in some way crazier spots like the reverserana off the apron to the floor. Great match to kick off the show. Darby catches Swerve with the last supper flash pin thing for the three count. 

Match rating - ***1/2

After the match, MJF comes down and we get another long winded 10 minute talking segment. Darby shows some good fire and thankfully Sting shows up to save the whole thing with his pom poms. It’s also worth noting that they showed Jack Perry watching the match on a screen backstage earlier. 

2) Powerhouse Hobbs (w/ QT Marshall & Aaron Solo) (c) vs. Silas Young - AEW TNT Title Match

This was exactly what it should have been. Less than 2 minutes, a full on squash. Hobbs destroys Silas and retains his championship. Let’s fuckjng go. 

After the match, cameras cut to the parking lot where Wardlow destroys Hobbs’ precious car that he arrived to the building in earlier. Wardlow breaks the windows out then takes a forklift to it and it is god damn hilarious and great. Hobbs is pissed and tries powerbomb Silas Young off the stage through a table, but Wardlow's music hits to make the save and he delivers a powerbomb to Aaron Solow off the stage. 

In a pre-tape, Jay White and Juice Robinson declare themselves as BULLET CLUB GOLD and that they are gonna take over AEW. 

3) Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Buddy Matthews (w/ Julia Hart) - AEW International Championship Match

Buddy comes out to motherfucking Eyes Adjust by Twitching Tongues. I am not a fan of the King of 205 Live Kenny Omega cosplayer, but between that entrance and his performance here, he’s gaining some points. This was much better than I ever anticipated. They worked the injured hand of OC story very well while still hitting all their spots and having some cool exchanges. The finishing stretch was more than just false finishes as they once again played off the injured hand of OC with it affecting certain things he would try or execute. This was just a great TV match. OC retains with a flash pin of sorts. I doubt we see a Buddy singles match this good for another 6-12 months unless they put him in there with Danielson or something. 

Match rating - ***3/4

Back from commercial and after the match, the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy are backstage with Renee Paquette. OC is fresh off his title defense and has his arm iced. Best Friends challenge Aussie Open to a match for the IWGP Tag Titles on Rampage this week.

Ethan Page is in the ring when we return to the arena. He wants to know why Matt Hardy did what he did last week. Hardy & Isaiah Kassidy walk down and Big Bill & Lee Moriarty show up. HOOK is here for the save, but the numbers are still too much especially with Big Bill in there and I'll be god damned if it ain't JEFF FUCKIN HARDY making his return to clean house. WOW! Jeff is back and nails the swanton and we are in business bayyybeee.

Before the next match, Kenny Omega speaks in a pre-tape from home. He addresses the Blackpool Combat Club and everything they’ve done to he & The Bucks. Kenny says it’s gonna be worse than blood for blood when the Elite get their hands on BCC. 

4) Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Michael Nakazawa & Brandon Cutler 

Buddy.. this was everything I needed it. Before the match, we got replays of Mox busting Don Callis wide open and here we see he & Claudio jump Nak & Cutler before the bell. They get more in than you’d expect, and they both bleed. It’s just good, good shit. Claudio & Mox win obviously and they continue the assault on a bloody Brandon Cutler after the bell with help from Wheeler Yuta. 

Match rating - ***

As Yuta, Mox & Claudio are destroying the boys some more, KENNY OMEGA’s MUSIC HITS. Man oh man. I came unglued for this. Kenny is bouncing around at the top of the ramp like The Rock. Mox gets on the apron and jumps to the floor telling him to come on. These two haven’t touched in like 2 years. Meanwhile, THE YOUNG BUCKS SLIDE IN THE RJNG FROM BEHIND AND DOUBLE SUPERKICK CLAUDIO AND YUTA. I’m fuckjng screaming. Bucks & Kenny corner Moxley. They bring out a tool box and Kenny breaks out a screwdriver as a throwback to what Bryan Danielson did to Hangman Page last week. Mox literally tells Kenny to bring it on and says he doesn’t have the balls to do it. Kenny goes to and CLAUDIO & YUTA PULL HIM OUT TO SAVE HIM. Love when them boys bail out like chicken shits too. Mox & Claudio throw beers from the crowd at the Bucks in the ring as they retreat. Kenny runs down to the railing with a chair. The crowd is molten and so am I. I loved this. 

5) Riho & Skye Blue vs. Toni Storm & Ruby Soho 

From that insane segment and match to RIHOOO. I’m a happy motherfucker right now. This match is a blast. I can’t remember much of the specifics of it because I was busy buzzing, but it was a breeze to watch and Riho working under with the up&comer Skye Blue as her partner was the perfect little pairing to go up against the rudo unit of Storm & Soho. 

Match rating - ***

We get another awesome run in segment after the match where Jamie Hayter makes the save as the Outcasts spray paint Riho. But the numbers are still too much and DMD BRITT BAKER HITS THE RING FOR THE BIG POP AND SAVE. She cleans everyone out on the ramp/at ringside and it rules. This last 45 minutes has been stellar television, bud. 

6) Keith Lee vs. Chris Jericho 

The way this match was set up was pretty cool. And on paper, it’s sort of cool, I guess? In reality, it’s a whole lot of whatever. Definitely the weakest match on the show even though I enjoy both of these guys in certain environments. This was far from their worst respectable efforts, though. It just wasn’t much more than fine. Swerve Strickland causes a distraction and Jericho is able to get the cheap victory when all is said and done. I guess we are headed back toward that story now and rightfully so since it never got a proper finale. 

Match rating - **1/2

After the match, the JAS jump Keith Lee and Adam Cole comes down to make the save and help Lee to the back. Cole does the same little bit that Jericho did the other week and refuses to acknowledge him aside from looking back at out of the corner of his eye ever so slightly. This closes the show. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

AEW: Dynamite Review - April 5th, 2023

AEW Dynamite 
April 5th, 2023
Long Island, New York

AEW World Champion: MJF (since 11/19/22)
AEW World Tag Team Champions: The Gunn Club (since 2/8/23)
AEW Women’s World Champion: Jamie Hayter (since 11/19/22)
AEW TNT Champion: Powerhouse Hobbs (since 3/8/23)
AEW International Champion: Orange Cassidy (since 10/12/22)
AEW TBS Champion: Jade Cargill (since 1/5/22)

Commentators - Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, & Taz

1) Juice Robinson vs. Ricky Starks

I’m gonna be completely honest, I saw that this was up first and continued working on some music, only to turn around and see Jay White in the damn ring helping Juice assault Starks. Everyone knows I’m drained on anything Bullet Club related and Juice in AEW does nothing for me, and I’m top of that I’m not necessarily a massive Jay White fan. HOWEVER, a surprise Jay White debut instead of a 12 minute Juice match on dynamite? I’ll get riled up over that. Awesome, unique way to start the show that definitely breaks the formula that AEW normally uses. Jay & Juice too sweet and commentators are openly referring to this as Bullet Club which is interesting to me considering White is no longer under contract to NJPW and neither is Juice.

Backstage, Chris Jericho has an interview about Adam Cole. Keith Lee walks up and says he’s had battles with Adam Cole in the past, but he has respect for him. Jericho doesn’t and he challenges him to a match next week to teach him a lesson in respect. 

2) House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, & Buddy Matthews) (c) (w/ Julia Hart) vs. Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, & Trent?) - AEW Trios Title Match 

Decent little match here. They don’t run too long and we get signature OC/Best Friends stuff which Dynamite wouldn’t feel the same without. These two teams on paper are the perfect foil for one another gimmick wise. In ring, it’s fine. They run through stuff, the best part for me is Brody King. The way they built toward Trent hitting a piledriver on him was great. Buddy pins Chuck in the end to retain.

Match rating - **3/4

In a pre-tape, Christian Cage is staring at us as Luchasaurus walks up out of some smoke with some crazy new mask on.

3) Jamie Hayter (c) (w/ Britt Baker) vs. Riho - AEW Women’s World Championship Match

This will always be a great match. Jamie is the best women’s wrestler in the world and Riho is the Rey Mysterio of AEW. Everyone loves her and she’s phenomenal fighting from underneath, especially against a brute like Jamie. It was a little tough because both women are babyface now, but it was still a very good back & forth match and easily the best match on this show. Jamie retains after a couple of ripcord lariats. 

Match rating - ***1/2

The Outcasts are backstage after Jamie’s celebration. Ruby Soho says that she better not get too comfortable with that title because one of the three is coming for it soon. Saraya plugs their shirt and Renee sends it back to the ring. 

BACK ON THE STAGE AND MATT MENARD & ANGELO PARKER ARE HERE. After we find out what makes Daddy Magic’s nipples hard, The Acclaimed interrupts. Amazing reaction for them. Ang & Menard are still trying to get The Acclaimed to join JAS so they got them an 8 man tag together for Rampage. They do the scissor me bit and yeahhhh! 

It’s MJF DAY. They show clips of him earlier in the day getting the key to Long Island. We cut back to the arena and MJF comes out and does a full fledged performance with a band backing him. I thought we were gonna get out easy and only get singing from him instead of a long winded promo, but I was wrong. The singing was lowkey so much better. He tells a story about some teacher who doubted his wrestling dream and calls her a stupid bitch. He says any kid out there watching should know they can do anything in life if they work hard, but the one thing no one can do is be MJF. On his way back up the ramp, Jungle Boy is disguised as a member of the band. He attacks MJF and they get pulled apart as Sammy Guevara comes out for the next match.

4) Sammy Guevara vs. Komander 

Guevara poses with MJF’s World Championship at the top of the ramp before coming to the ring. He’s coming off a victory over Konosuke Takeshita on Rampage. An unfortunate occurrence followed by another unfortunate occurrence here as he defeats Komander in a match that was very much a Sammy match. They do stuff, most of it doesn’t make sense, but Komander isn’t able to fully go off so it’s less fun than most of his matches as this is more about him bumping around for Guevara. Darby Allin is in the rafters looking on and the cameras show him. They’re hyping up this pillars four way very well, even though I’m not sold on it as a PPV main event level match. Guevara wins with his finisher thing. 

Match rating - **1/2 

4) HOOK vs. Ethan Page (w/ Matt Hardy) - FTW Title Match

HOOK is HOOK and is cool. He retains in under two minutes and for some reason they are running this back again on Rampage on Friday. 

Backstage or in a pre-tape, Nigel McGuinness & Tony Khan with some help from Adam Cole announce the return of All In with AEW’s debut in the UK at WEMBLEY FUCKING STADIUM ON AUGUST 27th. Unbelievable. 

5) Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli, & Wheeler Yuta (w/ Bryan Danielson) vs. SOME JOBBERS

Minute or so long squash and it rocks. BCC stands tall and Danielson cuts a promo on why he realigned with BCC and how much he loves each of his stablemates.. even Yuta who is in his words “a little shit” .. Danielson goes on to say there are no other real professionals in AEW and no other real wrestlers in the building besides them. HANGMAN PAGE COMES DOWN TO CHALLENGE THIS AND GOES RIGHT INTO THE FIRING SQUAD. Mox, Claudio, & Yuta beat him down. Danielson screams that he’s an amateur. Danielson says he has no friends and is not a pro wrestler. God damn this rules. Danielson then pulls out a screwdriver and jams it into the face/eye of Page. Crazy ass segment and this heel BCC run continues to deliver. 

6) The Gunn Club (c) vs. FTR - AEW World Tag Team Title Match 

This was just a bad.. bad match. Thank god the Gunn’s title reign is over and thank god FTR finally has those titles back, but good grief, this sucked. FTR gave them way more than they deserved. I was unable to bite on any of the nearfalls. It just felt clunky and full of good ideas with bad, not smooth execution. Whatever. It’s over. FTR wins like we all hoped and assumed. Get the Gunn’s off my tv for the next.. however long. FTR celebrates to close the show and are joined by Mark Briscoe <3

Match rating - *3/4