AEW Dynamite opened with Excalibur greeting us, recapping the return of MJF. What was noticeably missing from the recap package was CM Punk, as it focused only on MJF returning and claiming the belt was his.
A video then aired concerning CM Punk, vacating the AEW World and Trios Championships, with The Death Triangle and Best Friends facing off to determine the new Trios Champions. He also announced a tournament that will culminate at AEW Dynamite Grand Slam with a new World Champion crowned.
MJF then came out to a massive pop from the audience, and he pandered to the crowd getting a full babyface reaction. MJF said that he was just kidding when he said all those negative things about AEW and the fans and led the fans in an AEW chant. He seemed very disingenuous.
MJF then said that he wasn’t in the tournament because he didn’t need to be, and he will be there to face the winner of the tournament when it is all over. MJF then claimed the company was in dark times, but he was going to lead them to the promised land.
Jon Moxley’s music hit, and he made his way to the ring to a great reaction. Moxley claimed that MJF was full of it, and MJF immediately turned on the fans saying that he only saw the world title as his bargaining chip for the bidding war of 2024, and that he was going to take the title elsewhere to be with his friend, Cody Rhodes, and work with the only Khan that counted in wrestling.
Moxley said it wasn’t the time or place, and MJF needed to leave now or Moxley was going to make him leave. This looks like they’re setting up the main feud going forward as MJF and Moxley, with Moxley as the babyface representing AEW while MJF is the heel, wanting to leave.
Mox talked about the title representing passion and love for pro wrestling, and that it represented taking the dark side of the business and letting it die. He said it represented slaying demons, and everything he loved about this business. Tony Schiavone summed it up well when he said, “This is great.” Mox said he had another shot at the game winning goal, and he then put over every single person in the tournament, but he’s the ace, and he wants the ball, and it was time for him to be a legend. This was unbelievable. I love Jon Moxley.
The Death Triangle (PAC, Rey Fenix, & Penta El Zero M) w/ Alex Abrahantes defeated The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor, Trent Beretta, & Orange Cassidy) w/ Danhausen for the AEW World Trios Championship
Orange Cassidy and Penta started the match, with Cassidy throwing his sunglasses to Danhausen like Penta throws a glove to Abrahantes. This broke down fast with all 6 men getting involved, ending with Death Triangle being dumped to the floor and getting hit with a flip dive after being launched by Taylor and Beretta.
Chuck Taylor hit a dive off the stage onto everyone. PAC was able to get the heat on Beretta once they got back into the ring, with PAC stomping the ankle and working over the neck. Danhausen and Abrahantes faced off on the floor and Danhausen cursed him before hitting a low blow. PAC kicked Danhausen in the face but ate a crossbody from Cassidy. Cassidy hit a tornado DDT for a 2-count.
Taylor hit Sole Food on Fenix before Beretta hit a half nelson suplex and then a tornado DDT on Fenix. All 6 men got involved and hit big moves, ending with Penta hitting Made in Japan and Cassidy. Death Triangle reversed a Crunchy on Fenix with a pair of superkicks. PAC made the save after a Crunchy on Penta. The Death Triangle hit a triple stereo Canadian Destroyer on Best Friends, leaving Chuck Taylor open for a Black Arrow for the pinfall. This match was fantastic.
Toni Storm defeated Penelope Ford
Storm and Ford started fast, with Storm outwrestling Ford early on. Ford started to get the heat after driving Storm into the steps. Ford hit a dropkick to the back of Storm as she leaned against the middle ropes. Ford hit a handspring elbow on Storm before hitting a big boot. Ford hit a suplex for a 2-count. Ford went for a Northern Lights suplex but Storm countered into a DDT for the pinfall. This wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but it was a perfectly acceptable match.
2point0 cut a promo on HOOK and Action Bronson, and they announced HOOK & Bronson facing off with 2point0.
The Acclaimed made their way out for a promo, but Swerve’s music interrupted them before they could do their rap. Swerve cut a full heel promo saying it was a joke that The Acclaimed wanted to be tag champs.
Billy Gunn cut him off and said it was their house, and that The Acclaimed were going to finally take home the gold in New York City.
Chris Jericho and the JAS were with Tony Schiavone. Jericho claimed that he has found the fountain of youth, and he was “drinking it in, man!” He said because he beat Danielson at AEW All Out, he was the best wrestler of all time, and the greatest sports entertainer ever. He said that AEW was his company, and his locker room, and no one was every taking it away from him. Jericho also reiterated that Daniel Garcia wasn’t going to have the JAS in his corner tonight.
Wardlow defeated Tony Nese w/ Smart Mark Sterling to retain the TNT Championship
This did not last long, with Wardlow crushing Nese and powerbombing him 3 times for the finish. This got a great reaction from the audience. Josh Woods ran down and saved Mark Sterling from eating a powerbomb.
Wardlow cut a promo about how he was on a mission to make AEW his, and that his momentum isn’t gone and he is putting everyone on notice.
A hype video aired, recapping the feud between Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin over the years. This was excellent.
Bryan Danielson defeated Hangman Page
William Regal joined the commentary booth and called Excalibur “buttercup” and said he could get away with it because he was an eccentric Englishman, which everyone at the desk agreed. I laughed.
Danielson and Hangman started slow, as they have a history in AEW, with Danielson being unable to defeat Hangman. Danielson and Hangman exchanged chops and Danielson brought it to the ground, stomping on the knees of Hangman. Taz said that looked like something Regal would do, before saying “You might have done that to me!” and Regal said, “I hope so!”
Hangman hit a lariat on Danielson while he was on the apron, and Danielson spilled to the floor. Danielson dodged a tope and drove Hangman into the ring post shoulder first. Danielson continued to work over the right arm of Hangman, attempting to take out the Buckshot Lariat. Regal claimed he taught Danielson how to gyrate.
Daneislon hit a big running kick to Hangman on the floor before continuing to strike Hangman in the ring. Danielson went for a crossbody but Hangman caught him and hit a fallaway slam. Hangman hit a tope and then went for Deadeye in the ring, but Danielson fought out and went right back to the bicep of Page. Danielson hit the round kick to Page and got a 2-count.
Hangman cut Danielson off on the top rope and hit a moonsault fallaway slam for a 2-count. Hangman went for the Buckshot Lariat, but Danielson rolled to the other side of the ring. Both men ended up on the apron and Danielson was able to do an arm wringer that drove Hangman to the mat, crashing on his right arm.
Hangman and Danielson exchanged hard chops in the middle of the ring, with Hangman hitting an elevated sit out powerbomb for a 2-count. Danielson hit hammer and anvil elbows on the top turnbuckle and went for a suplex off the top rope, but Hangman did a backflip. Hangman hit a lariat, but Danielson immediately took advantage and put the Labell lock on.
Danielson skinned the cat and then turned a made in Japan into an armbar before rolling back into the Labell lock. Hangman rolled Danielson out of it and hit knees to Danielson’s shoulder. Hangman and Danielson hit hard forearms before Hangman hit the deadeye, countering the busaiku knee. Hangman went for a moonsault press, but Danielson moved and hit the busaiku knee, and Hangman rolled to the floor like Danielson did earlier.
Hangman then hit a powerbomb on the apron and hit a moonsault to the floor on Danielson. Danielson then ducked a buckshot lariat and hit an O’Connor roll with a bridge for the pinfall. This match was fantastic, and they went long on this one.
Jungle Boy was in a pretaped promo where he said that he was far from done with Christian Cage, and once he was back from surgery, he was going to take years of Christian’s life. He also said his next target was Luchasaurus, who was an anchor around his feet for the last 3 years. This was good, and he showed some fire here.
Stokley Hathaway came out and claimed that he was the ‘King of Ladder Matches’ and then he assaulted a stagehand when he tried to tell him that he didn’t have much time for the promo, ending with W. Morrisey hitting a big boot on the stage hand.
A video aired for Claudio Castagnoli facing Dax Harwood at Rampage on Friday.
Daniel Garcia defeated Wheeler Yuta for the ROH Pure Wrestling Championship
The three judges for this match in case it goes to a draw are Jerry Lynn, BJ Whitmer, & Matt Sydal. Excalibur noted that this match featured the second combo of two competitors who went to a 60-minute draw in their first ever meeting. Danielson and Hangman and Yuta and Garcia have both went to one hour draws before.
Garcia used his first rope break to take advantage of Yuta and dumping him to the floor. Garcia and Yuta then started a chop battle. Yuta hit a flying forearm on Garcia off the top rope. Garcia hit a palm strike on Yuta before hitting a two back suplexes and a lariat for a 2-count. Garcia hit a series of German suplexes.
Garcia hut a German suplex off the middle ropes on Yuta, who landed right on his head on the mat. That was brutal looking. Garcia hit a superplex on Yuta. Garcia put the dragon tamer on in the middle of the ring, but Yuta made the ropes. Garcia and Yuta exchanged some submission attempts, but Garcia finally locked the dragon tamer in tight and got the submission to a great reaction from the audience.
Bryan Danielson came down to the ring after and out the title around the waist of Garcia after Yuta and Garcia kept the Code of Honor. Chris Jericho was not happy, and looked on in anger as Garcia and Danielson shook hands.
This was very good episode of AEW Dynamite and served as a good reset show after the craziness of the post-All Out issues with CM Punk. They also setup Rampage and the next Dynamite well, with Jericho and Danielson meeting again, intertwining their feud with Garcia and Yuta well.
Emphatic Thumbs Up